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Friday, 31 May, 2002, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Cuba children die after measles vaccine
Vaccination has been halted
Vaccination has been halted
Three Cuban children have died and dozens more are ill after receiving a single measles vaccine manufactured in India.

The Cuban Health Ministry said a "rare accident" had occurred on 22 May after a group of schoolchildren were inoculated against the disease with apparently contaminated doses from India.

The vaccines were certified by the World Health Organisation and purchased through the Pan-American Health Organisation.
Indian scientist in drugs laboratory
India has a big export market for drugs

No details were given about who the victims were, or where the incident took place.

The Cuban authorities have halted the annual measles vaccination campaign while the causes of the deaths are investigated.

The investigation will be carried out by a specially set up ministerial commission.

Immunisation

Measles was eradicated from Cuba in 1993, but campaigns to immunise young children are regularly carried out.

In 2002, some 750,000 Cuban children between the ages of four and nine have already been vaccinated.

The Health Ministry note ends by saying no new problems have been reported in the week since the incident.

See also:

25 May 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
20 May 02 | Americas
17 May 02 | Americas
17 May 02 | Newsmakers
15 May 02 | Americas
14 May 02 | Americas
09 May 02 | Americas
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