Under attack, the Chief Minister ordered an inquiry into the incident at a polio camp at a village in Hooghly district yesterday. Four health workers have been suspended in connection with the matter. "The chief minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident," state's director of health services B Satpathy told PTI here.
Satpathy said that an apparent negligence was detected in the matter which led to the suspension of four health workers, but the wrong administration of Hepatitis B vaccine had no adverse impact on the children who were discharged from Arambagh sub-divisional hospital today.
While a Hooghly report quoting official sources said that 114 children were admitted to the hospital, Satpathy said that 67 kids were rushed to hospital after it was detected they were given Hepatitis B vaccine instead of pulse polio drops at the camp by mistake. Satpathy said that 14 other children were later taken to the hospital as their parents became panicky after hearing that many kids were given "wrong drops".
He said that the suspended persons included a supervisor who reached the camp late and he was in charge of distribution. Admitting that the incident had created panic among the villagers, Satpathy said a team of health department personnel, including doctors, was sent to the houses of the affected children "and all of them were found to be in good condition".
He said that Hepatitis B vaccine is injectable, "but it has no adverse effect on health when administered orally". Satpathy described the incident as "unfortunate and unwarranted".
Yesterday was a pulse polio day, so parents had taken their children to the polio booth at the Khatul village under Arambagh sub-divison, the sources said. They said that the wrong administration was detected by one of the parents who immediately informed the matter to the health workers and the villagers, but by then most of the children had already been given the Hepatitis B vaccine orally.
Angry villagers then locked up the health workers and the local Block Development Officer (BDO) and the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Arambagh who rushed to the spot to pacify them. Hooghly District Magistrate Manmeet Nanda said two others, including an anganwadi worker, were suspended.