In Vietnam, 60 kids mistakenly get water instead of vaccine

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A girl receives a measles vaccine shot at the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Phuong Vy/Vietnam News Agency A girl receives a measles vaccine shot at the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Phuong Vy/Vietnam News Agency

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Authorities in Dong Thap Province have reassigned a medical staff who gave shots of distilled water to 60 children after mistaking it for a measles-rubella vaccine.
The goof-up happened at a kindergarten in Cao Lanh, the capital of the Mekong Delta province, around two weeks ago, but was only released on local media Monday.
Tran Dac Phu, head of the Preventive Health Department at the Ministry of Health, said experts from the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City have visited the town to investigate.
Phu said the nurse, who has not been identified, administered just the distilled water in which the light yellow vaccine powder was supposed to be mixed and injected.
There were tubes of mixed solutions lying right there but the staff apparently failed to notice them.
By the time a supervisor discovered the error, 60 children had been given the shots.
They were later given the vaccine with experts from the health department supervising.
Phu said such an error has never before been committed anywhere in the country.
“Very fortunately the tubes contained just pure water and so there was no danger.”
He said the children have developed no problems.
Dong Thap health officials admitted to their “shortcomings.”
The province has plans for more such vaccinations at schools next month.
Phu said the Ministry of Health has already ordered cities and provinces to train their vaccination staff better.
Health agencies have been given free measles and combination shots for children between one and 14 after a measles outbreak early this year infected thousands of children and killed more than a hundred.
The failure to vaccinate children caused an unusual spike in the disease, doctors said.

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