The Punjab Health and Family Welfare minister Brahm Mohindra on Thursday apprehended the anti-development campaigns at the behest of some private run hospitals for affecting the state government’s Measles-Rubella (MR) campaign.
The minister said that he will look into the matter to identify the establishment of any such group that was creating the propaganda against the MR campaign.
He further claimed a fake social media campaign conducted by some anti-social elements which had detrimental effects and created doubts in the minds of parents regarding MR vaccination and quality of vaccine.
He said that the health department has successfully countered the negative onslaught on the MR campaign and brought home the crude fact that the vaccine has been duly approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and provided by the Union government.
“The state government is providing the MR vaccination at free of cost while it is available in the private sector at the cost of Rs 1,200. There are chances for the involvement of some private groups spreading the rumors about ill-effects of MR vaccination being done by the state government. Their motive behind the anti campaign must be to secure their financial benefits,” said Mohindra.
The minister was addressing a Press conference on Thursday during which he justified that thirteen children who suffered ‘adverse’ effects on their health after being administered the MR vaccine in different schools in Bathinda, were admitted due to anxiety instead any reaction.
The minister said all the children were absolutely fine now. He said that in preliminary investigation it was noticed that most of the cases in Bathinda and other districts were not related to MR vaccine.
He said that for the satisfaction of the parents, samples of used and unused vials of the vaccine and syringes were taken from different areas of district Bathinda and sent to Central Research Institute, Kasauli for further investigation.
The minister said that MR vaccination is a worldwide campaign. Mohindra said that the MR Vaccination campaign is intended to immunise around 73 Lakh children between the age of nine months to 15 years in the state. He said that till date nearly 12 Lakh children have been vaccinated with the MR vaccine so far.
Meanwhile, sub-regional team leader of WHO (Delhi), Dr S Srinivasan said that the MR campaign is being run in the country for the first time with an aim to make India MR free by 2020.
He said, over one Lakh deaths have been caused globally due to the MR out of which one third deaths have been reported in India.