Dimple Maheshwari, 13 years old, died on the morning of July 24, 2018, five days after receiving the MR (measles, rubella) vaccine at her school in the village of Khirsara (state of Gujarat), India.1 2 According to local police, the teenager was administered the live virus vaccine on July 19 as part of a national child public vaccination campaign. Soon after she arrived home that day, Dimple became sick and started vomiting, so she was taken by her father, Devji Maheshwari, to see a private doctor at the nearby village of Kothara.1 2
On the morning of July 23, Dimple experienced diarrhea and nausea, and her body grew stiff. According to a police report, the girl suddenly collapsed at her house and was subsequently rushed to the community health center in the town of Naliya, where doctors declared her “brought dead.” A chief district health officer said a three-member team was formed to investigate Dimple’s death.1 2
A second child, seven-year-old Mukesh Ninama had died on July 22, four days after getting the MR vaccine in the town of Bhiloda Taluka (state of Gujarat). A chief district health officer reported that, in addition to Mukesh’s death, about 30 children in the town became ill after they were given the MR vaccine.2
At least three other deaths of children following routine childhood vaccinations were reported in India during June-July 2018.
On July 4, a two-month-old baby died soon after being vaccinated in the village of Puskala (state of Odisha). While there are few details, a news report quoted the father of the baby as saying, “My child was vaccinated yesterday. After returning home, blood started oozing out twice from the spot where the injection was administered. Later, the infant didn’t consume any food and died around 1.30 am last night.”3
On June 29, three-and-a-half-year-old Rani Kaivarta died after being vaccinated at the community health center in the village of Indasai (state of Jharkhand). Rani died early in the morning just 15 hours after she was administered the OPV, rotavirus and pentavalent vaccines—a total of seven vaccines. Rani’s mother, Aarati Kaivarta, said that her daughter was healthy before vaccination, but that she died after returning from the health center.3
On June 10, two-month-old Sharika Sharma died the morning after she was administered the second round of vaccinations under the Indian government’s routine vaccination program at the community health center in the town of Chinhat (state of Uttar Pradesh). Sharika’s father, Vikas Sharma, said his daughter would not stop crying and developed a high fever, so he took her to the community health center. “We were told that her condition is serious,” said Sharma. “The CHC doctors referred her to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital since the pediatrician was not on duty. At Lohia hospital she was declared brought dead.”3
2 PTI. 2 kids die due to ‘unknown reasons’ in Gujarat, probe ordered. The Times of India July 24, 2018.
3 TVR Staff. Two Infants and a Toddler in India Die Shortly After Vaccinations. The Vaccine Reaction July 9, 2018.