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Scores Of Children Sickened In India After Being Given Wrong Vaccine

“A government committee in the Indian state of West Bengal will submit its report Tuesday on a medical error that saw the wrong vaccine administered to more than a hundred children under the age of five,” TIME reports. “More than half of the children — who were vaccinated at a camp being held at a primary school about 50 miles from Kolkata — fell ill when they were wrongly [given] hepatitis B vaccine instead of being given polio drops,” the magazine writes (Bhowmick, 9/17). “The children started vomiting and sweating after they were orally given hepatitis B vaccine, which is normally injected,” Agence France-Presse states. “Some 120 children in total swallowed the medication at the clinics, set up to administer polio vaccine drops as part of a campaign to eradicate the disease, before health workers discovered the mistake, said Biswaranjan Satpathy, director of West Bengal Health Services,” AFP writes (9/16). “‘Such goof-ups cannot be tolerated,’ [Satpathy] said, ordering a probe into the incident and suspending four health workers,” TIME reports, adding, “Systemic failures in large government schemes are already under the spotlight in the wake of July’s tragic food poisoning in Bihar, in which 23 children died after eating a contaminated school lunch” (9/17).