Parents fume over vaccine side-effects

Lesotho Times
5 Min Read


Pascalinah Kabi

HUNDREDS of parents whose children were immunised from measles and rubella in February are up in arms with the Ministry of Health over the side-effects of the vaccination.

The children were vaccinated during a 14-day countrywide campaign launched in February by Health Minister Dr ‘Molotsi Monyamane for children aged 0 to 14 years.

Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus. Its signs and symptoms typically include fever, often greater than 40 °C, cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes. The measles vaccine is effective at preventing the disease.

Rubella, also known as German measles or three-day measles, is an infection caused by the rubella virus. It is often mild with half of people not realizing that they are sick. Rubella is preventable with the rubella vaccine with a single dose being more than 95 percent effective.

The diseases are among the primary killers of children in the developing world.

During the campaign, Dr Monyamane had reassured parents that no harm would befall their children due to the vaccination.

However, hundreds of parents and guardians have complained that their children had experienced side-effects of the immunisation.

Pictures of children allegedly experiencing side-effects of the vaccination have been circulated on social media.

One parent claimed that her neighbour’s child died after the vaccination. However, the Lesotho Times could not independently verify the veracity of that claim.

Another parent, whose child had sores around the month and face, said the wounds appeared the same day her child was vaccinated.

“Just thirty minutes after the injection, my child had this around her mouth and the nurse said the child was reacting to the injection. We are not making up stories, this thing is real,” the parent said.

Another said: “I remember (someone) raising this issue and the nurses allayed our fears, saying this was normal. We are guinea pigs indeed. I am not judging anyone, I am praying for all of your babies to get well soon. My child was not vaccinated after I put my foot down.”

Some of the parents said their children were continuously coughing; with medication administered by clinicians failing to end the problem.

“We are at the hospital now. It’s been a case of high temperatures week after week for my child but today its diarrhoea, with my child’s stool mixed with blood. I will never take my children for vaccinations like this one,” a parent said.

“What surprises me is that the Ministry of Health is quiet on this matter and I wonder why they are not taking any action yet people are not being helped at healthcare facilities,” another worried parent said.

Yet another one said: “My child has had diarrhoea for two weeks now and I have been running around like a headless chicken. I feel so helpless.”

Another parent posted pictures of her son with a rash all over his body.

Dr Monyamane yesterday told the Lesotho Times in a brief interview that he asked parents to take their children to Queen Elizabeth II hospital and other healthcare facilities to undergo tests.

“I am in a meeting right now, but like I said before, the vaccination has side-effects. Concerned parents and guardians whose children have presented side effects must take their children to Queen Elizabeth II hospital for tests,” he said.

“The tests will be run free of charge. Others can take children to healthcare facilities next to them. We will hold a press conference to address these concerns.”

The press briefing is scheduled for this morning.

Share this Article
Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa. Contact us today: News: Advertising: Telephone: +266 2231 5356
1 Comment