Dengvaxia victims' kin file complaint vs DOH, Sanofi, Zuellig execs

MANILA, Philippines – The families of 4 children, whose deaths had been linked to Dengvaxia, filed criminal complaints with the Department of Justice on Thursday, April 5, against former and current health officials, as well as executives of the dengue vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur and its distributor Zuellig Pharma Corporation.

Assisted by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), the families of Aejay Bautista (11), Lenard Baldonado (10), Zandro Colite (11), and Angelica Pestilos (10) charged the respondents with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, citing Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code and violation of Republic Act 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act. 

The following from the DOH were named respondents in the complaint:

From Sanofi: 

From Zuellig:

The complaint said the respondents "displayed grave recklessness, utter bad faith, lack of foresight, lack of skill, want of care, gross neglect and deliberate, arbitrary and even malicious disregard of the safety and lives of thousands of Filipino children.”  

The PAO said accused the respondents of "intentionally inoculating the Dengvaxia recipients with an unsafe product undergoing clinical trial, which caused them not only severe pain, exhaustion, disability or dysfunction of one or more parts of the body, but untimely death." 

PAO chief Persida Acosta said they had documented 41 deaths, but had only completed the cases for the first 4. These 4 victims, she said, had not had dengue before they were vaccinated with Dengvaxia in their schools. 

Sanofi revealed in November 2017 that Dengvaxia put recipients at greater risks if they had not had dengue prior to getting the vaccine.  

The PAO said Bautistadied of multiple organ failure; Pestilos, who had lupus, died of acute respiratory failure; Baldonado, who had leukaemia, died of acute respiratory failure; and Colite died of multiple organ failure. –