Lucknow: Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh are demanding that the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government stop the ongoing vaccination drive in schools after two children died reportedly due to the Measles Rubella vaccine.
The UP government had recently threatened that schools would lose accreditation if they fail to hold vaccination camps. However, many parents are reluctant to avail the facility for their children after the two reported deaths. Several children have also fallen sick, triggering panic.
The Congress and Samajwadi Party have alleged that the government, in complete ignorance to the seriousness of the situation, is making a huge blunder by carrying on the Rubella vaccination process and demanded that a probe be conducted.
In a statement issued on Friday evening, Congress spokesperson Onkarnath Singh said, “The parents of children across schools in the state are worried after reports of deaths and children falling ill due to Rubella vaccination have emerged. Even after facing opposition from parents and school management, the government is adamant and is threatening schools of cancelling their affiliation if vaccination is not done.”
“The government should address the issue urgently by launching an enquiry. It should be investigated why this vaccine was not tested properly beforehand and those found guilty should be punished,” he added.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, too, has called for an immediate stop to the vaccinations and has demanded an inquiry. “By continuing this, you are putting the lives of millions of children at risk. No one should be allowed to use our children as guinea pigs, this needs to stop,” he said.
As per official figures, till now 2.5 crore children have been administered the Measles Rubella vaccine in 2.16 lakh schools of the state. The drive was launched on November 26 in 65 districts, and was extended to 10 more districts on December 10.
Dr Ved Prakash of the National Health Mission rubbished news of reported deaths or children falling ill due to the vaccine. “The Measles Rubella vaccine is absolutely safe. The smooth vaccination of over two crore children in the first two weeks of the campaign has instilled confidence among parents and they are now coming up in large numbers to get their children vaccinated," he said.
He said that he is hopeful of reaching eight crore children across the state, belonging to the age group of 9 months to fifteen years to be covered with the Measles Rubella vaccination.