|In this photo released by anti-Bashar al-Assad activist group Edlib News Network (ENN), which has been authenticated based on its contents, show two Syrian children receiving treatment after they were given a second round of measles vaccinations, in Idlib province|
Dozens of infants in the rebel-held cities of Jarjanaz and Sinjar in Idlib province died on Tuesday minutes after being given the drug.
Although the cause of death has not yet been established, officials reportedly suspect the vaccines may have been tampered with while left unguarded in a storage facility in Jarjanaz.
Syrian rebels suspected of sabotaging measles vaccinations leading to death of up to 50 infants after they all went into 'severe allergic shock'
- Dozens of infants died minutes after being given the contaminated vaccine
- Physician who administered vaccine said all children exhibited same reaction
- 'There was shouting and screaming', said Dr Abdulla Ajaj
- Infants were being vaccinated in rebel-held Syrian cities Jarjanaz and Sinijar
- Samples of the leftover drug have now been sent to Turkey for analysis
Dr Abdulla Ajaj - a physician who helped administer the vaccine - said the children all exhibited the same 'severe allergic shock' to varying degrees.
'There was shouting and screaming, it was hard for the parents. You get your child vaccinated and then you find your child dying, it's very hard,' Ajaj said.
There weren't enough respirators in the clinic, making the situation even worse, he added.
Video footage uploaded to social media showed a medic examining a young girl who was squirming.
Another child, in an orange tee-shirt and blue pants, appeared lifeless as a medic administered CPR.
He then opened the child's mouth to reveal a swollen, blue-tinged tongue.
Physicians for Human Rights, a New York-based group that works in rebel-held areas of northwest Syria, sent an internal e-mail saying that up to 50 children may have died from the vaccine.
The vaccinations are part of a large-scale campaign to stop the spread of measles, mumps, rubella and polio in rebel-held areas of northern Syria.