ISTANBUL –As part of a Turkish government campaign, a number of pregnant women were accidentally vaccinated against rubella. The vaccination can cause serious deformations to the unborn child, which led sixty women to have an abortion, according to today’s daily newspaper Hürriyet and local paper Ege’de Son Söz.
It is also possible that pregnant women were vaccinated by mistake in 32 other cities where the campaign has been running. The mistake came to light after vigilant nurses became suspicious and contacted their union about it, after which an investigation started. Then it also turned out that a significant number of the vaccines used had already passed the use-by date. The Ministry of Health has admitted mistakes were made. An opposition member of parliament has asked questions in the house, and demanded an investigation.
Criticism is levelled not only for mistakenly giving the vaccinations, but also for the information given to the pregnant women. Many of them supposedly chose to have an abortion out of panic, without receiving reliable information about the risks of the vaccination for the baby. The authorities started tracking down pregnant women who may have been vaccinated in the other 32 cities concerned, in order to give them correct information.