HEALTH

Mexico suspends infant vaccinations after two die, dozens in serious condition

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 07:  Pediatrician Dr. Amanda Porro M.D. delivers a flu vaccination to an infant's leg during his visit to the Miami Children's Hospital on January 7, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  announced that in the United States the virus that causes the flu is particularly bad this year and has hit most parts of the United States, with 43 states experiencing "widespread" flu activity and six others reporting "regional" flu activity.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 07: Pediatrician Dr. Amanda Porro M.D. delivers a flu vaccination to an infant's leg during his visit to the Miami Children's Hospital on January 7, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that in the United States the virus that causes the flu is particularly bad this year and has hit most parts of the United States, with 43 states experiencing "widespread" flu activity and six others reporting "regional" flu activity. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

Mexico's public health system has suspended infant vaccines and mounted an investigation after two babies died and 29 were sickened in an impoverished community in southern Mexico.

Six of the 29 babies are in grave condition after receiving vaccinations for tuberculosis, rotovirus and Hepatitis B, which are generally administered between 0 and 6 months, according to a national schedule. The cause of the adverse reactions is not known, the Mexican Institute for Social Security said Sunday.

The institute said it stopped vaccines nationwide on Saturday as a precaution.

The Rev. Marcelo Perez, a Roman Catholic priest, told the Associated Press that families of the babies said they became sick within hours. The adverse reactions started Friday and the babies were being treated in a hospital in Simojovel, Chiapas, where 93 percent of the people live in poverty, 69 percent in extreme poverty, according to government statistics.

The hospital "doesn't have adequate personnel or equipment," Perez said. "The real problem is the terrible conditions we have ... so that when a baby comes in with convulsions, he leaves dead."

The federal and state government, in a statement Sunday, promised the best medical care for the babies and to stay in contact with the parents to answer all their questions. Perez said he was helping the families collect all the information that could help officials discover the cause of the adverse reactions.

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