Vaccinations halted after child deaths

BBC 12/23/01

Original Link:

Algerian authorities have suspended all vaccinations of infants after the deaths of seven children following measles inoculations.

An Algerian health ministry statement said the seven babies died within an hour of receiving the vaccinations in the village of Oued al Abtal in the western Mascara region.

About 30 other babies aged between three and 18 months, who were inoculated at the same clinic, were rushed to a hospital in the small city of Tighenif, but have since been allowed to return to their homes.

Algerian scientists have begun an investigation into the infant deaths.

Algerian press reports quoted doctors as saying that the children had been injected with two types of vaccine, which might have passed their expiry dates.

But Health and Population Minister Abdelhamid Aberkane told Algerian Radio: "The same vaccine is being used throughout the homeland. There are no problems with it. It is valid until 2003, and has not expired."