ANOTHER batch of Dengvaxia cases involving the deaths of 12 children was filed yesterday before the Department of Justice against former Health secretary Janette Garin.
The fourth batch was filed by relatives of 12 children who allegedly died after being administered with the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine made by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur and one survivor , 11-year-old Mark Joseph, who only received one shot of Dengvaxia vaccine in August 30, 2017 at a health center in Tondo, Manila City. The vaccine allegedly damaged Mark’s brain.
Aside from Garin, now a congresswoman representing the first district of Iloilo, also named respondents are incumbent DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, some former and incumbent DOH officials, and officers of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur Inc. and its distributor, Zuellig Pharma Corporation.
They are accused of violating the Anti-Torture Act, Pharmacological Torture, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, physical injuries, and the Consumer Protection Act.
Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Rueda Acosta said five more complaints would be filed with the DOJ that will constitute the fifth batch of complaints in relation to the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine. Acosta said other complainants are still completing their affidavits for filing before the justice department.
Acosta also appealed to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez to act on their request to designate one court to handle all Dengvaxia-related cases.
A total of 860,000 people, including 830,000 children, from Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon and Cebu have received the Dengvaxia vaccine.
The immunization program was started during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III when Garin was the health secretary.
It was continued by the Duterte administration before the DOH stopped the program in November 2017 after Sanofi Pasteur announced that it may pose risks to those who haven’t contracted dengue.