Baby dies after vaccination; authorities deny links

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A two-month-old baby died after getting a six-in-one vaccine in Hanoi four days earlier, but local health authorities denied links between the death and the vaccine, online newspaper Dan Tri reported Saturday.

It was the first fatality to be allegedly related to Infanrix-Hexa, a combination of diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, hepatitis B, enhanced inactivated polio vaccine, and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, in Vietnam in recent years.

Since November 2012, eleven infant deaths have been reported after the administration of pentavalent Quinvaxem.

The newspaper quoted the Hanoi Center for Preventive Health as saying that Tran Quang T. got the shot of Infanrix-Hexa on January 8, after a check-up confirmed that he was in good condition.

The vaccine was imported from Belgium, and his family paid VND680,000 (US$32) for the shot, Tuoi Tre (youth) newspaper reported.

After the vaccination, the baby was put under a 30-minute observation at the clinic, according to the report, adding that 87 other babies got the vaccine from the same batch that day.

T. was in normal condition until the next afternoon when he started coughing.

Since he continued coughing and became irritable the following morning, his family took him to the National Hospital of Pediatrics.

The baby was hospitalized with tiredness, a black and blue body, and he had to be assisted with a breathing machine.

Doctors diagnosed him as having inflammation of the heart and respiratory problems.

He died the next day from a failure of blood circulation caused by dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged, according to doctors.


A panel of experts assessing the complications of vaccines and medical bio-products agreed on the diagnosis, concluding that the baby did not die from the vaccine, Nguyen Nhat Cam, director of Hanoi Center for Preventive Health, was quoted as saying. 

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a congenial disease difficult to detect through normal examinations, he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hoang Duc Hanh, vice director of the Hanoi Department of Health and also head of the panel, said it was a “coincidence” that the baby fell sick after getting the vaccine.

Hanh said that after the vaccination, the kid did not have a fever, the most common reaction to vaccines, adding that other kids who got the vaccine did not have any reaction.

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