Another baby dies after Quinvaxem vaccination

January 16, 2014 | 15:31
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A 3-month-old boy in Da Lat city died at the Lam Dong Province General Hospital on Wednesday, one day after being vaccinated with the 5-in-1 vaccine Quinvaxem, health authorities reported.

More than 60 children have died after being vaccinated with Quinvaxem since 2007. This death is the latest fatality post-vaccination, spurring the provincial Health Department to order the suspension of the South Korean-made Quinvaxem across the province.

At 10:30 am on January 14, the boy, Tran Le Nguyen, was taken by his parents to the health station of Ward 7 in Da Lat for vaccination under a notice by the station.

That afternoon, Nguyen was crying abnormally, so his parents took him back to the station. The doctors kept the boy for an hour, and then allowed his parents to take him home.

As the boy’s condition got worse, his parents brought him back to the station again, at 4 pm. The boy was cared for at the station for a while, and then allowed to return home again.

At 7:30 am on Wednesday, Nguyen suffered from a high fever and turned blue. He was taken back to the station for a third time. He was later transferred to the hospital for emergency treatment.

Dr. Tran Xuan Hoa, deputy head of the Pediatrics Department of the hospital, said the boy was hospitalized when he stopped breathing, his entire body had turned blue, and his pulse had become irregular.

Despite intensive treatment, the boy died at 4 pm the same day, Dr. Hoa said.

The vaccine used for the boy belonged to lot 1453189, which will expire in February 2016, said the provincial Health Department.

Dr. Dong Sy Quang, head of the Medicine and Pharmacy Division under the department, said the boy’s family did not agree for an autopsy to be performed on the boy.

The hospital has classified the death as a serious post-vaccination response, and set up a medical examination council to verify the cause of the death.

Over 60 deaths post-vaccination

This is the third death post-vaccination in Da Lat since 2012 and the second consecutive case in Ward 7.

While waiting for verification, the department has suspended operation of the Ward 7 Heath Station and suspended the use of the vaccine Quinvaxem across the province.

Since November 2013, about 1,500 children in Da Lat have been vaccinated with Quinvaxem, the department reported.

Since the vaccine was first used in 2007, at least 63 children have died after being vaccinated.

The vaccine was suspended by the Health Ministry in May 2013 after nine children died post-vaccination. 

However, after investigations showed that the vaccine was safe to use, it has been re-used for the National Extended Vaccination program since October 2013, five months after its suspension.

Quinvaxem is meant to prevent five common, potentially fatal childhood diseases: diphtheria (D), tetanus (T), pertussis (P, whooping cough), hepatitis B (HepB), and haemophilus influenza type B (Hib).


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