Chad’s government on Tuesday said a team of international experts have not been able to find any links between the hospitalisation of 38 children and their recent vaccinations against meningitis.
The children fell ill in the northern village of Gouro and were admitted to hospital after being vaccinated in a government campaign against the disease between December 11 and 15.
In a statement, the country’s health ministry said tests “failed to establish a causal link between the clinical manifestations observed in the patients and the MenAfriVac vaccine.”
Health Minister Mamouth Nahor N’Gawara said tests by experts at the World Health Organisation showed there was “no manufacturing fault” in the vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.
According to the statement, one child who never received the meningitis shot “complained of suffering from the same symptoms” found in the other children.
A local administration official said some of the children began to moan shortly after receiving their meningitis shot and then went into convulsions.
N’Gawara, who on Monday said the children’s state of health “is not worrying,” added they are now leading “normal lives”.
Meningitis outbreaks are frequent in the poor, landlocked Sahel country. “During the past 15 years, Chad has recorded more than 50,000 cases of meningitis with more than 5,000 deaths,” N’Gawara said.
In total, more than 100 million people in 10 African countries have been vaccinated against the disease.