In a case of huge negligence, 12 children were given sanitiser instead of oral polio vaccine in a village in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, about 700 km from state capital Mumbai, an official said on Monday.
The affected children, all below 5 years of age, were admitted to a government hospital, where their condition is said to be stable, the district official said, adding that three healthcare workers will face action for the lapse.
The incident was reported on Sunday at a primary healthcare centre in a village when the National Pulse Polio vaccination drive for children between 1-5 years of age began, the official said.
Yavatmal Zilla Parishad CEO Shrikrishna Panchal said 12 children below 5 years of age were given sanitiser instead of polio drops.
Subsequently, one of the children complained of vomiting and uneasiness, he said.
All the children who were given sanitiser drops were administered polio drops and admitted to the Government Medical College in Yavatmal, Shrikrishna Panchal said.
Their condition is stable and they are under observation.
He said as per preliminary information, three healthcare workers – a doctor, anganwadi sevika and an ASHA volunteer – were present at the PHC at the time of the incident.
"An inquiry is underway and orders will be issued to suspend all the three healthcare workers," Mr Panchal said.
Meanwhile, another official said the incident came to light when the village sarpanch checked the drops and found them to be hand sanitiser and not polio doses.
After the incident, parents in the area are under fear and have demanded action against the persons responsible for the shocking lapse, he said.
Yavatmal Collector M D Singh visited the hospital and enquired about the condition of the children, the official said.
The incident took place on the Polio National Immunisation Day, which is observed on January 31.