Are vaccination fears hurting immunisation efforts?

Fear-mongering over side effects of vaccinations has caused many to avoid getting their children immunised. Image - iStock

“I never exposed my daughter to any kind of vaccination. She is perfectly alright now," says writer Nakkeeran. His angst against the government's immunisation drive is not unfounded. There have been several cases of abnormalities and deaths caused by vaccinations, he says.

Well-known paediatrician Jacob Puliyel had written in the Sunday Guardian that there were 237 deaths in the country as of August 2016 within 72 hours of administering pentavalent vaccine, which is given for five life threatening diseases such as Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).

In a study, he found that between 2000 and 2017, around 4.91 lakh persons were paralysed not because of ‘wild polio’ but because of polio-induced Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP). He also cast aspersions on the Rotavirus vaccine.

In 2017, the Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered the state government to give compensation to Devilal, a 26-year-old polio patient, whose lower limbs got affected due to polio vaccine administered to him 22 years ago.

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