TN girl loses vision after vaccination, parents allege govt apathy

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The parents of a 17-year-old girl studying in the Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Sholingur in Ranipet, have said that their daughter lost her eyesight after being inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine.

The parents said that the girl was administered the vaccine on January 4, 2022, and after that she fell ill from the next day and later lost her eyesight.

The girl’s mother told IANS, “I have been running around with my daughter from one hospital to another, Sholingur to Ranipet and from Vellore to Chennai for her treatment. We have been assured that the treatment will be covered under the Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme of the Chief Minister but nothing has happened so far.”

She added that she had complained to the district collector and they have promised treatment under health insurance scheme but this has not materialized till now.

The girl’s mother said that finally a hospital diagnosed the disease as connective tissue disorder and the doctors have not assured the family that the girl will regain her lost eyesight.

When contacted, Dr Manimaran, Deputy Director of Health Services, Ranipet said, “I have already referred the matter to the panel probing Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI). There are district, state, and national level committees with access to relevant data and they will investigate the matter.”

Dr Sujit Somasundrama, Virologist with a Government Medical College in Chennai, told IANS, “The vaccine may not have directly resulted in the condition of loss of eyesight but it could have triggered symptoms of a pre-existing disorder. Such a disorder cannot develop in one day and investigations must look for evidence of existing pathological conditions. This can be useful in future vaccination programmes.”

The girl’s parents said that they have still not received proper guidance about where the treatment could be conducted and they are taking the child to a private medical college at Vellore for further diagnosis and treatment.

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