Govt told to distribute only tested vaccines, medicines

Kathmandu, July 1

The Supreme Court today issued a directive order to the government telling it to administer and distribute only tested vaccines and medicines.

A division bench of justices Bishwambhar Prasad Shrestha and Ananda Mohan Bhattarai issued the order in a case filed by advocates Dal Bahadur Dhami and Jitendra Bahadur Madai against the government.

The petitioners had said that measles vaccination administered to children in Doti district caused death of four children.  The court said that a commission formed to investigate the death of four children in Doti district stated in its report that the deaths were not caused by vaccine but due to toxic shock syndrome.

The apex court said the government agencies admitted its fault when it said that vials of vaccines could not be tested as they had already been disposed of. The court said the state should take responsibility for polluted vials even when the respondents argued that the vials could have been polluted due to human error or environmental pollutions.

It also told the government to ensure that medicines and vaccines are on par with international standards in all stages from the stage of procurement to distribution.

The court also ordered the government to ensure effective monitoring of immunisation and medicine distribution programmes and to also make provisions for compensation to the victims’ families.

As per the case details, four children of Doti district aged between eight months and 12 years, who were administered vaccines on August 19, 2012, died the next day.