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MR vaccine safe: Health Minister 

Chandigarh: Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra, flanked by officials of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the PGI, on Thursday alleged that a “malicious campaign” was underway against the national measles-rubella vaccination drive in the state.At a media briefing, the minister was accompanied by Dr Sanjay Verma, Additional Professor, Pediatrics, PGIMER, and Dr Srinivasan from the WHO and they asserted that the MR vaccination was “safe and effective”.Specifically mentioning Dr Amar Singh Azad, who has raised several questions regarding the MR vaccine, the minister alleged that he was always opposed to vaccines. “He was even against the polio vaccine,” he alleged.He said any person having doubts about this vaccination should come and talk to experts from institutes of global repute like the PGIMER and the WHO in order to clarify their misconceptions about the vaccine.On the death of a child in Bathinda, the minister said as per the preliminary investigation by experts, no link could be established with the MR vaccination and that the death was caused due to acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration.He said similarly, regarding a boy admitted at the PGI who was diagnosed with the GB syndrome, it was most unlikely to be caused by the MR vaccine, as per the attending doctors at the PGI. He said, however, the Health Department, while taking the responsibility, had extended all possible support including the financial assistance for the treatment of the child. Dr Sanjay Verma said the disease was still a big challenge and a cause of disability and mortality.Dr Srinivasan said measles was the number one killer among vaccine-preventable diseases. He said the MR vaccine, which was produced by the Serum Institute of India under strict quality control, was a WHO pre-qualified vaccine.

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