Vaccine is suspended after death of infant

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 October, 2008, 12:00am

A four-month-old baby has died after receiving a pneumonia and meningitis vaccine in Shandong province , an official with the local health bureau confirmed yesterday.

The baby was vaccinated against Haemophilus influenza type B on October 19 at Chinese Medicine Hospital in Liaocheng city .

Xinhua quoted the boy's father, Yu Jingkuan, as saying adverse effects were seen soon after the vaccination.

'His mouth turned blue and his face turned pale several minutes after we left the hospital,' Mr Yu said.

Shandong Shangbao, a Shandong newspaper, reported earlier that Mr Yu returned to the hospital for consultations twice but was told the symptoms were normal reactions to the vaccination.

When he took the baby back the following afternoon, the boy was already very weak. Mr Yu was told to take the baby to another hospital as an ambulance was not available. The baby died on the way.

The vaccine was produced by Wosen Biotechnology in Yuxi city , Yunnan province .

Xinhua said the company had sent its staff to Liaocheng to investigate the death. Liaocheng's health bureau has ordered all hospitals to suspend use of the vaccine.

Other parents said their babies who had been given the same vaccine had also suffered adverse reactions, according to the report. It was unclear how many babies received the vaccine.

The vaccine was approved for use last year.

A separate Xinhua report said Yunnan authorities had suspended the use and sale of the problematic batch of vaccines produced by Wosen. So far 80,000 doses of the batch had been used and there were 3,000 doses in the inventory, it said.