Parents claiming their children died after receiving Dengvaxia are accompanied by Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta at the Department of Justice. Edd Gumban, File

DOH to check on reported Dengvaxia dengue vaccine deaths
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) insisted yesterday there were no deaths related to Dengvaxia and that surveillance teams had been deployed to look into any report of dengue or severe dengue infection due to the vaccine.

The families of two 10-year-old girls – one from Bataan and another from Quezon City – claimed the children died after getting vaccinated with Dengvaxia in school.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gave assurance the agency does not ignore any possible death or severe dengue related to the controversial vaccine. But DOH Undersecretary Herminigildo Valle said they already investigated the two deaths that were being blamed on Dengvaxia and found that these were unfounded claims.

Assisted by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the parents of Christine Mae de Guzman of Bataan and Anjielica Pestilos of Quezon City faced the media on Tuesday and detailed how the two girls died months after being injected with the anti-dengue vaccine.

It turned out the children have underlying conditions, like heart ailment, that led to their deaths, according to the DOH.

“There were different diagnosis and the clinical abstracts are very difficult to link to Dengvaxia. We cannot really directly link the vaccine to these cases,” Valle added. 

Duque noted that as part of the National Adverse Event Following Immunization (NAEFI) activities, teams are investigating if there are reports of individuals who died or developed severe dengue after being given the vaccine.  

“So far, I have not received any report that directly link Dengvaxia… There are 12 reports (of adverse events) but they are all alive. They have recovered,” he told The STAR.

In partnership with various partners, the NAEFI is tasked to document any possible complication or side effects that may arise after immunization. 

Duque explained there are three “events that give rise to severe dengue infections.”

“Number one, you have prior infection of dengue and number two, you were vaccinated. Number three, you were bitten by an infected mosquito and developed dengue (after vaccination). These are the events that we look for in validating cases,” Duque said.

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