15 Children Dead After Receiving UN Funded Measles Vaccine in Syria
nsnbc : UNICEF and the WHO stated that they halted a measles vaccination program in northern Syria after at least 15 children who received the vaccination have developed severe symptoms about an hour after they received the vaccination and died.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a joint statement, announcing the immediate halt of the vaccination campaign, stating:
“UNICEF and WHO have been shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of at least 15 young children in Idlib, Syria. … The death of the children occurred in areas where a measles immunization campaign had been underway”.
Abdullah Ajai, a physician who administered the vaccinations at a medical center in Jarjanaz, Idlib, said, according to AP, that the children demonstrated signs of “severe allergic shock” after being given the second round of the shots. The second round of vaccination was launched in Idlib and Deir Ez Zour on Monday.
The children were all well below two, reports Reuters, adding that some of the children suffocated to death due to severe swelling. Abdullah Ajai commented on the situation:
“There was shouting and screaming, it was hard for the parents. You get your child vaccinated and then you find your child dying, it’s very hard”.
At least 15 children have died after receiving the measles shot, although the actual number may turn out to be higher than that. According to reports from rights groups and reports from areas controlled by armed insurgents, the number could be as high as 34 or 50; that is, some hundred percent more than has thus far been reported by the UN.
The WHO stated that it would be sending in a team of experts because it is vital to establish the precise cause of the children’s deaths. Both the WHO and UNICEF state, however, that they are hopeful to resume the vaccination campaign as soon as possible.
While the WHO and UN bodies like UNICEF continue pushing for vaccination programs worldwide, they have largely failed at addressing fundamental vaccine safety issues.
Measles belong to a cohort of childhood diseases against which one is immunized for live after coming down with them during childhood. A growing number of vaccine safety concerns prompt a steadily growing number of independent experts to question the benefit of vaccines against e.g. mumps, rubella or measles and calls for the need to give first priority to independent, ethical trials.