A 12-year-old girl from Victoria Falls reportedly died just a week after getting vaccinated with the new typhoid conjugate vaccine (TVC).
Ethel Tshuma from Village 8 in the Lubangwe area was vaccinated on 1 June and died on 8 June while admitted at St Patrick’s Hospital in Hwange.
Ethel’s family suspects she reacted to the jab as her body started swelling after she was vaccinated.
Speaking during an interview, the girl’s aunt Memory Tshuma told The Chronicle that Ethel’s arm started swelling the day she was vaccinated.
She said the girl lost consciousness and became numb before she died on Tuesday at St Patrick’s Hospital where she had been admitted.
Tshuma said Ethel had no other known health condition before receiving the TVC and a cancer vaccine.
Meanwhile, Ethel’s body has been sent to Bulawayo for a post-mortem as health authorities are investigating the cause of her death.
Hwange District Medical Officer Dr. Fungayi Mvura said this was the first time they have heard of such a case.
She said they are waiting for post-mortem results to know the cause of the death. Said Mvura:
We are still waiting for post-mortem results so we can know whether it was a reaction to the vaccine or anything else. For now, we can’t give any details because the body has gone for a post-mortem.
Ethel’s death comes after government recently rolled out a vaccination program to protect children aged below 15 years from typhoid. The disease was mainly detected in Bulawayo, Harare, and Gweru.
TCV helps to prevent typhoid fever, a life-threatening infection.