Mexico suspends infant vaccinations after 2 babies die

Mexico's public health system has suspended infant vaccines and mounted an investigation after two babies died and 29 were sickened in an impoverished community in southern Mexico.

Vaccinations were for tuberculosis, rotovirus and Hepatitis B

Vaccines are seen in a file photo from Mexico. The current investigation will focus on a hospital in a poverty-ridden area in Chiapas. (Gael Gonzalez/Reuters)

Mexico's public health system has suspended infant vaccines and mounted an investigation after two babies died and 29 were sickened in an impoverished community in southern Mexico.

Six of the 29 babies are in grave condition after receiving vaccinations for tuberculosis, rotovirus and Hepatitis B, which are generally administered before six months of age, according to a national schedule. The cause of the adverse reactions is not known, the Mexican Institute for Social Security said Sunday.

The institute said it stopped vaccines nationwide on Saturday as a precaution.

The Rev. Marcelo Perez, a Roman Catholic priest, told The Associated Press that families of the babies said they became sick within hours. The adverse reactions started Friday and the babies were being treated in a hospital in Simojovel, Chiapas, where 93 per cent of the people live in poverty, 69 per cent in extreme poverty, according to government statistics.

The hospital "doesn't have adequate personnel or equipment," Perez said. "The real problem is the terrible conditions we have ... so that when a baby comes in with convulsions, he leaves dead."

The federal and state government, in a statement Sunday, promised the best medical care for the babies and to stay in contact with the parents to answer all their questions. Perez said he was helping the families collect all the information that could help officials discover the cause of the adverse reactions.

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