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Can Improper Storage of Measles Vaccines Lead to Death? Four Babies Die in India.

Vaccine expiration date A tragedy from Telegraph India.

Babies dead after anti-measles shots in MP

Bhopal, March 14: Four babies have died after being given anti-measles shots at a government vaccination camp in Madhya Pradesh, prompting the arrest of a doctor and a nurse amid fears that expired drugs had been used.

Gaurav Vishwakarma (nine months), Karnika Thakur (11 months) and Rohini (13 months) died yesterday, one day after being given the vaccines at the Anganwadi Kendra camp in Damoh.

Nine-month-old Arman Vishwakarma — one of 10 babies hospitalised in a serious condition — died this morning, police said.

There was no official word on the vaccines, but Bhopal-based officials of the state government’s health and family welfare department, which runs the camps, hinted that the vaccine samples may have been past their expiry dates. The additional district magistrate has been asked to prepare a report on the cause of the deaths.

Victim Gaurav’s mother Gauri said the babies developed diarrhoea and their health deteriorated rapidly after the vaccine was administered. Gaurav and two others were dead by the time they had been taken to the Damoh district hospital.

“I was told a measles vaccination camp was being organised at the kendra. I took my son to the camp where he was administered the vaccine,” said Gauri, still struggling to come to terms with the death of her child.

At this time last year, many babies in the Sagar division of the state, of which Damoh is a part, had contracted measles. So, this time, there was enthusiastic response to the vaccination drive. Many families from far-flung areas of the district hired vehicles to travel to the camp.

The arrested doctor-nurse duo, who had given the injections, have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, said the Damoh additional superintendent of police, Mukesh Shrivastav.

“Prima facie, it appears a case of criminal negligence. Action will taken against the officials, as well as the distributor and controller of the vaccine.”

Dr Anupam Kulshetra, who was in charge of the district vaccination programme, and A.N.M. Saraswati Nair, who had charge of the vaccine depot, have been suspended, officials said this evening. The action came after health director A.N. Mittal and other senior officials reached Damoh.

Some reports suggested irregularities in the overnight storage of the vaccine samples.

Mittal and state minister Jayant Malaviya visited the hospitalised babies and met the families of the dead.

The government has promised Rs 10,000 for the family of each baby being treated in hospital.


msomi tp

question; from the literature ive learnt that measle vaccine is stored in the deep freezer, but i noticed that in the box containing 10 vials is mentioned that it should be stored at temprature of 2- 8 degrees celcius. as a pharmasist i need to be be certain about the actual storage conditions. can you please help me in this regard.

John Fryer chemist

The information seems very garbled.

If all the incidents are different, then it shows continuous disasters over a long time period.

If this is true then it makes a nonsense over claims of safety of the order of one problem in every 5 million.

The SIDS rate which did reach virtually one death per thousand seems a good marker for vaccines.

The continued giving of vaccines to infants who can't talk, can't express whether the vaccine was a good event or not is indefensible.

We know about anaphylaxis now for more than a hundred years but say NOTHING to parents when they return for the second, third, fourth and fith vaccines just in case the first few didn't work.

My child and those of later generations get one chance at an advanced age compared to normal and this works well without problems.

One child in three with neurological problems for life, one child in a thousand dead for no known reason and one child autistic in a hundred is the KNOWN result of a BROKEN VACCINE PROGRAMME.

Who said when you strike oil you stop DIGGING?

We need to review the whole medical strategy and use an area system that can show up HARM and not COVER IT UP.

I note also that in Germany this year they stopped one vaccine for a year both to prevent more deaths and to enable sensible research on causation even though it may not be a vaccine problem.

GMO/OGM OH my goodness who didnt tell Monsanto that animals and plants dont read the genetic code in the same way. Deaths also in India within 2 days of a mish mash of animal genes and plant genes in a carefully targetted addition to improve plants but somehow KILLING every living creature that eats this scrambled set of DNA. Well one day they may get it right.

Pity they cant try it on the bosses first.

One day we will INSIST adults get the vaccines first and spare the child.


Here is some more information. The first segment is from a blog in India - young, enterprising bloogers.

The second segment is in two parts. It is is from some arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), and note the dates - 1995 and 1996.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

FROM the blog called "littleabout" --,4-madhya-pradesh-babies-die-measles-vaccine-second-lead.html

4 Madhya Pradesh babies die after measles vaccine
Bhopal, March 14 :

Four babies died and 16 were taken ill after they were administered anti-measles shots at a government health centre in Madhya Pradesh's Damoh district, officials said Sunday.

A nurse has been arrested on charges of negligence and two others suspended. "The district vaccination programme in-charge Anupam Kulshetra and vaccine depot in-charge Saraswati Nayak have been suspended," the official added. The action came after Madhya Pradesh health department director A.N. Mittal reached Damoh and inquired into the matter.

Officials said after the measles shots were given Saturday, three children, aged between two to 12 months, died and 17 fell ill. Another child succumbed Sunday, said Chief Medical and Health Officer D.K. Shrivastav.

"The negligence of the nurse, Durga Tiwari, who supplied the vaccines to the Anganwadi, has been found to be the cause behind the tragedy and she has been arrested by the police on charges of negligence and destroying evidence," he said.

The parents of the victims said the babies started frothing at the mouth and nose, turned blue and died within 12 hours of being given the vaccine. In all, 20 children were administered the vaccine.

"While the post-mortem examination reports of the infants reveal that they died of toxic shock syndrome, a rare and unforeseen snag following measles vaccination, it seems that the protocol for the cold chain for preserving vaccines was broken," Shrivastav told IANS.

"The nurse apparently took the vaccines home in a thermo flask, stored it in refrigerator overnight before bringing it back for distribution the next day," he said.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Three infants died, in 1995 in country D, after administration of measles vaccine. Symptoms, developing within five hours post immunization, were fever, rash, vomiting, and diarrhoea, described by the attending health worker as "toxic shock syndrome." Reconstituted vaccine was routinely kept until it was used, and syringes were never sterilized, but washed with ordinary water and wiped with cotton wool. No testing could
be done.

Cause: Non-sterile injection (contaminated reconstituted vaccine).

In 1996 in country E, four children died and a fifth was hospitalized after receiving measles vaccine from the
same vial. Vaccine was not refrigerated, and was transported house to house for immunization. Reactions began four to five hours after vaccination, with vomiting, unconsciousness, and meningeal irritation. S. aureus was cultivated from the incriminated vial.

Cause: Non-sterile injection (contaminated reconstituted vaccine).

Nurse Betty

Last winter a brown cardboard box was delivered to my workplace. It was not well marked and my supervisor said nothing about it, so it sat near my desk for hours. At the end of my shift I had to either lock it up or find a recipient. I decided to be bold and opened the shipping label; the box contained flu vaccines.

Were they packed in dry ice? How long had they sat in the delivery truck? On a pallet somewhere? How were they being tracked? Was anyone watching?

That did nothing to shore up my confidence in the U.S. vaccination program.


Sounds like a 'HOT LOT', which was kindly sent to India instead of being pulled off the market.

After all, the Food and Drug Administration leaves it to drug manufacturers to voluntarily recall a bad batch.

Jenny Webster

Exactly, expired meds are less effective. Not deadly. Interesting.

That Dr and nurse should come work here in the US, they could fill a vial with 50% Antifreeze and 50% straight mercury, call it a vaccine, kill thousands of babies, and get a medal for their public health contribution.

Sad part is I am only half joking.


Ah come on, clearly it is coincidence! Temporal relationship does not imply causation. The kids were probably going to die anyway!


Yes, we should find out who made the monovalent measles vax.

They say that "this time" there was an enthusiastic response. I guess responses in the past weren't so enthusiastic? Wonder why?


Maybe what has to happen here is just this - blame placed on the doctors and nurses administering these vaccines to our children. If these people had to bear any liability for vaccine injuries, it might motivate them to actually do the research like so many of us have and maybe, just maybe.. they'd STOP HARMING our children instead of telling us they're perfectly safe. Let's face it, the pediatricians of the world are still telling us "they're perfectly safe", "the testing has been done" and what happened to our child was "not a reaction" - none of which are true and until they're held responsible for their lies and actions, more children will needlessly suffer.


Could an improper storage involving increased temps cause live virus cells to multiply, and thereby causing it's potency to increase?


I bet the vaccines weren't expired, but I bet the doctor/nurse will take the fall for it.

North Dakota

I doubt shelf life was the issue, if they were even expired at all. Expiration or improper storage would make it ineffective against disease, not suddenly lethal. A poorly studied, poorly regulated, poorly manufactured product is much more likely the issue. Blaming the doctor and nurse is par for the course for this kind of story. Who made the vaccine?!

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