Hooghly/Kolkata: In a major medical goof up, as many as 114 children were hospitalised in Arambagh area of Hooghly district after they were mistakenly given Hepatitis B vaccine orally instead of Pulse Polio drops on Sunday. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered an inquiry and four health officials were suspended after the kids were administered wrong vaccine in Arambagh, about 80 km from Kolkata.
According to reports, six people were suspended for the lapse that triggered protests with angry villagers locking up health workers.
Sunday was pulse polio day so parents had taken their children to the polio booth at the Khatul village under Arambagh sub-division, official sources said.
One of the parents noticed that the health workers at the polio booth in Khatul village was giving Hepatitis B vaccine orally instead of polio drops and immediately informed the matter to the health workers and the villagers, the sources said.
By then 114 children had already been given the Hepatitis B vaccine orally.
Angry villagers then locked up the health workers and the local block development officer and the sub-divisional officer Arambagh who rushed to the spot to pacify them.
Meanwhile, all the 114 children who were given Hepatitis B vaccine instead of pulse polio drops were admitted to the Arambagh sub-divisional hospital.
The Superintendent of the Arambagh sub-divisional hospital, Nirmalya Ray, said the Hepatitis B vaccine would not cause any harm to the children.
Ray also said that most of the children had been discharged from hospital as they were admitted so that they could be kept under observation.
Hooghly District Magistrate Manmeet Nanda said six persons have been suspended in this connection.