The number of children to have died in the countryside of Idleb after they were vaccinated against measles increased from six to 15, forcing the Free Health Directorate in the province, which operated under the opposition Interim Government – to suspend the campaign.
The Health Minister in the Interim Government said the problem is probably related to the conditions of preserving and cooling the vaccines, adding that investigations have begun.
A statement issued by the directorate said that six children died because of the vaccine in Maarrat an-Numan, and that all the signs indicate the interference of "criminal hands", as all the vaccines were delivered by the World Health Organization.
The primary investigations show that there might have been a security breakdown related to the regime which targets the medical sector in Free Syria, it said.
It said the vaccines are safe, so there is no need to be worry about the children who took the vaccine previously or in other regions in Idleb.
The minister, Abdurrahman al-Omar, said "the information shows that five children have died specifically in Jarjanaz, which indicated that there might be a problem in the preservation and cooling of the vaccines."
"There is an investigation committee in Jarjanaz now to find out the real reasons. The vaccine itself is safe, because we have no cases reported from other regions in the northern governorates since we delivered the vaccine two weeks ago. The campaign included other regions in Idleb, Hama, Deir-ez Zor, Raqqa, Hasaka, Aleppo and its countryside and the vaccines caused no complications," he said.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer