3 out of 14 kids died of dengue after Dengvaxia shot – UP-PGH panel

MANILA, Philippines – Three of the 14 children who died after receiving Dengvaxia had dengue despite immunization, according to the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) team tasked to investigate the cases.

Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo presented findings of the UP-PGH Dengue Investigative Task Force in a press conference also attended by the panel on Friday, February 2.

Tatlong kaso ang nakitaan ng causal association. Sila ay namatay sa dengue kahit sila ay nabigyan ng Dengvaxia. Dalawa sa kanila ay maaaring dulot ng vaccine failure,” said Domingo.

(Three cases were found to have causal association. They died of dengue even if they were given Dengvaxia.  Two of them may have died because of vaccine failure.) 

He emphasized the tissue samples of the said 3 cases still need to be studied further. 

Most of the vaccinees died because of other diseases they happened to develop after getting their last shot of Sanofi Pasteur’s Dengvaxia vaccine.

Domingo said the UP-PGH panel found out that the deaths of another 3 children “had nothing to do with Dengvaxia.” Another 6 cases did develop other diseases within 30 days after receiving the vaccine, but there was no clear evidence yet that their deaths were due to Dengvaxia. 

“Tatlo sa 14 na kaso ng pagkamatay ay walang kinalaman sa Dengvaxia o nagkataon lang na ang nabakunahan ay nagkaroon ng ibang malubhang sakit na hindi dulot ng bakuna,” said Domingo.

(Three of the 14 cases of deaths had nothing to do with Dengvaxia or the vaccinee later developed a severe disease that was not caused by the vaccine.)

“Anim na kaso ng mga batang namatay sa ibang sakit ngunit nagkasakit at namatay sa loob ng 30 araw matapos maturukan. Ang kinamatay nila ay hindi dengue at walang tiyak na ebidensiya na ito ay konektado sa Dengvaxia,” he added. 

(Six cases of the children died of other diseases, but they got sick and perished within 30 days after vaccination. They did not die of dengue and there is no clear evidence their deaths are connected to Dengvaxia.) 

The causes of death of the last two cases studied by the UP-PGH are still unknown due to lack of information submitted to the panel.  

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had asked UP-PGH to conduct an independent study of the the clinical records of 14 children vaccinated with the controversial dengue vaccine and later died due to various causes.

It was part of Duque’s efforts to help address the concerns of the parents of some 837,000 gradeschoolers who got the vaccine through the DOH’s now-suspended dengue vaccination program.

Duque suspended the program after Sanofi announced in November 2017 that Dengvaxia may lead a person to develop severe dengue if he or she had not been infected by the virus prior immunization. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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