Three-month-old Rohan Kumar died on Feb. 6, 2020 after receiving the “5-in-1” pentavalent (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B) vaccine at a government health center in Ramgarh, India.1 2
An investigation into the infant boy’s death was ordered by the local health department. A rural child health officer was tasked with overseeing the investigation and a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that a case report detailing the child’s death following the vaccination was provided.1 2
The pentavalent vaccine was introduced into India’s routine vaccination schedule for children during 2014-2015. The vaccine, which comes in vials of 10 doses each, is scheduled to be given to children three separate times—at six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age.3 4
Pentavalent vaccines in India are manufactured by four pharmaceutical companies, including Serum Institute (Pentavac PFS), Panacea Biotecs (Easyfive TT), Biological E (ComBE Five) and Shantha Biotechnics (Shan5).5
Over the past two years, there have been numerous reports of babies dying or becoming seriously ill in India soon after receiving the pentavalent vaccine. Another recent case involved a two-month-old infant boy who died on Jan. 11, 2020, a day after receiving the pentavalent vaccine at a rural child care center in Hunshyal.5 6 7 8
1 PTI. Infant dies after vaccination, probe ordered. Deccan Herald Feb. 9, 2020.
2 PTI. Jharkhand infant dies after vaccination. The Hindu Feb. 10, 2020.
3 Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Pentavalent vaccine introductions represent historic milestone for immunisation in India.
4 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Pentavalent Vaccine. Government of India 2012.
5 TVR Staff. Baby Girl in India Dies Day After Getting the Pentavalent Vaccine. The Vaccine Reaction July 3, 2019.
6 TVR Staff. Infant Boy in India Falls Unconscious and Dies After Vaccination. The Vaccine Reaction July 27, 2019.
7 TVR Staff. Infant Girl in India Dies Day After Receiving Oral Polio and Pentavalent Vaccines. The Vaccine Reaction Sept. 11, 2019.
8 TVR Staff. Infant Boy in India Dies Day After Receiving Pentavalent Vaccine. The Vaccine Reaction Feb. 27, 2020.