Relatives of victims cope with financial crisis – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

RANIPET: The families of the two girls who developed health complications days after being vaccinated against Covid-19 are facing economic hardship as they left work to be with their children. They claim that they ran from post to post because they have little or no knowledge of the treatments.

Karthikadevi* (17) lost her sight a day after being vaccinated against Covid-19, and Keerthana*, a 15-year-old girl, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome – a disease in which the immune system attacks the nerves – 20 days after she was inoculated.

Health Minister Ma Subramanian said district and state Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) committees have reviewed the cases and ruled out the link between the vaccine and Karthikadevi’s condition. He added that the panel had recommended Keerthana’s case to the national AEFI committee in New Delhi.

The news surfaced after Arakonnam AIADMK MLA S Ravi demanded the state government to hand over an allowance of Rs 25 lakh to each family in the state assembly on Thursday. On the MP’s comment, Subramanian said the two girls were undergoing treatment at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH). Karthikadevi’s mother, Tamil Selvi, refuted the minister’s claim and said Karthikadevi was at home.

Explaining the incident to TNIE, Tamil Selvi said, “After visiting several hospitals, they were referred to RGGGH from Egmore Eye Hospital. The doctors there, however, recommended that we take some tests at a private hospital as part of their free plans.

To facilitate the process, the rheumatology professor at RGGGH sent a letter to the private hospital, but the staff at that hospital said only three tests would fall under the free program and the rest would be charged, Tamil Selvi said. “The staff added that the appointment for the test is only available on May 2.

Since there was no orientation, I took my child home,” she added. Tamil Selvi, who worked as a weaver, has not worked since the incident. She added that they had already spent 7 lakh and were going through a financial crisis.

Prabhu, Keerthana’s father said, “We have taken a loan of `4 lakh for Keerthana’s treatment, but I don’t know how I will pay it back as I am not going to work these days.” TNIE’s efforts to reach out to Minister Ma Subramanian and Secretary Dr J Radhakrishan for comment have been unsuccessful.

“Vax link excluded”
Minister Ma Subramanian said the district and state MAPI committees reviewed the case of the two girls and ruled out a link between the vaccine and Karthikadevi’s condition. The panel recommended Keerthana’s case to the national MAPI committee, he said.

*Names changed

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