The Department of Health on Friday confirmed that three children vaccinated with Dengvaxia have so far died of dengue, but clarified that the controversial vaccine did not directly cause the deaths.
At a press conference, DOH Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo said that of 14 Dengvaxia-related cases, three exhibited causal association — two of them suspected to be caused by "vaccine failure."
It could not be ascertained yet if the third case was also due to vaccine failure or another cause.
Vaccine failure is when there is the specific disease being prevented by the vaccine develops in a person.
“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,” Domingo said, citing the findings of the PGH Dengue Investigative Task Force.
PGH director Gerard Legaspi said all three died due to "dengue shock syndrome," and not necessarily because of the vaccine.
"There is no direct evidence for now that the vaccine caused any change in the course of the dengue shock syndrome of the kids," he said.
"Namatay sila dahil sa dengue. Kaya ayun ang declaration ng Task Force, that the cause of death was the dengue shock syndrome and not the vaccine," he added.
Legaspi said the "same manifestations" would have appeared in the three patients whether they have taken Dengvaxia or not.
Only those three patients were identified positive for dengue so far, health authorities said.
Three of the 14 patients were found to have died of diseases unrelated to dengue, and it was merely coincidental that they were vaccinated with Dengvaxia.
Six children fell sick within 30 days of being vaccinated, but the findings showed that they died of other illnesses as well.
Two remain unclassified due to lack of information.
The PGH panel of experts recommend further investigation before the findings are declared final. — MDM, GMA News