February 18, 2018, 5:41 am
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Kids who died of dengue got Dengvaxia: Duque

MAJORITY of 14 children who died of Dengue Shock Syndrome were given the Dengvaxia dengue vaccine, as bared by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

“Fourteen children were given Dengvaxia, were bitten by mosquitoes, had dengue, and their conditions worsened to qualify as Dengue Shock Syndrome. These are clearly manifested in the clinical charts and clinical records, that they died from Dengue Shock Syndrome,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in a press conference at the Parang Elementary School in Marikina City.

Still, Duque called for a definitive finding by an expert panel of the University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), the DOH’s independent validator on the Dengvaxia issue, before directly linking the deaths to the defective vaccine.

“Of the 14, majority were really Dengue Shock Syndrome. But some others had other diseases too or co-morbidities, which would have contributed to their deaths,” he said.

“We just want to be certain that their other illnesses did not cause their deaths. We want to first clear out other potential cause of deaths,” he added.

PAO forensic experts have reported having found a link between the deaths of five children and the controversial dengue vaccine.

Dr. Erwin Erfe, director of the PAO Forensic Laboratory, said the bodies of the children showed massive bleeding in the brain and internal organs. The children also had high fever and rashes. 

Tens of thousands of schoolchildren who were given Dengvaxia are already under watch after its manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, admitted that children who have not had dengue before having the vaccine are likely to suffer from severe symptoms once they get dengue.

It turns out the vaccine only immunizes those who have already had dengue prior to vaccination.

Duque said it would have been better if PAO agrees with work together with the DOH on unearthing the truth.

However, he said the DOH respects PAO’s refusal to coordinate.

What is more important, he said, is that everybody will just arrive at a truthful finding.

“We support all the efforts towards finding out the truth because, at the end of the day, the truth has to be allowed to surface,” said Duque.
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