Newborns given incorrect vaccinations - report

2015-02-06 22:33

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Cape Town – Cape Town mothers are reeling after 19 newborns, who were vaccinated with the wrong medication, risk contracting TB, according to reports.

The Cape Argus reported on Friday that staff at Medi-Clinic Milnerton had incorrectly vaccinated 19 babies with a variant of the BCG vaccine on Thursday night.

According to Medline Plus, BCG vaccine may be given to people at high risk of developing TB. It is also used to treat bladder tumours or bladder cancer.

Medi-Clinic spokesperson Dr Stefan Smuts told the daily newspaper that with BCG vaccine there is always the risk of certain side-effects. One of the side-effects of the normal vaccination (BCG) is to get disseminated TB, but these cases are very rare.

According to the World Health Organisation, the vaccine is derived from a strain of bovine tuberculosis bacillus.

One mother, who did not wish to be named, told the Cape Argus, that her 10-day-old son was one of the 19 babies and now had to go on a course of TB medication and undergo blood tests. She added that the staff had told her that it incident was due to a mix up of two vials of medication, which looked alike.

Leane Thomas, an administrator of the Vaccine Awareness SA Facebook group, told News24 that when report of the 19 babies broke there was a strong response from her users.

“People are losing faith in the medical community,” she said.

Thomas said incidents like happened because it is very difficult to control what staff at medical institutions did.

She said there were many cases similar to this that were not being reported to the proper authorities.

“Many of our moms are too scared to let their babies out of their sight while in hospital. An incident like this is devastating to the parents and their babies,” she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  health

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