DOH: Number of kids who died after receiving Dengvaxia reaches 87
The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday confirmed that 87 of the about 891,000 children who were administered the Dengvaxia vaccine have died, but due to dengue and other illness.
Health Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo made the pronouncement during the hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations on the P1.16-billion supplemental budget aimed to assist Dengvaxia vaccinees.
"Sa ngayon po, as of last week, ang total number of mortalities recorded is 87. Ito yung huling report sa akin ng epidemiology bureau and these are validated cases na vaccinees," Domingo said.
But Domingo clarified in an ambush interview after the hearing that the 87 mortalities died of either dengue or any other illness.
"Sa mga yun, yung laboratory tested and confirmed, meaning na grow sa culture or na-PCR yung blood sample nila na merong dengue, is 11," he said.
Domingo, however, pointed out that it cannot be confirmed yet that the deaths of the 87 children is directly related to Dengvaxia.
"I think that will take some more time. We have to do a lot of epidemiologic studies for the next few years," he said.
Despite the 11 deaths related to dengue, Domingo said the DOH cannot declare yet if there is a failure of the Dengvaxia vaccine.
"Maliit pa kasi yung number. We assume that there's failure in some cases kasi may mga ibang cases tayo na namatay sila, nabakunahan, pero nung tinest for dengue antigen and dengue antibodies, wala silang na-mount na any form of defense against dengue. So mukhang hindi talaga siya effective sa lahat," he said.
The House appropriations panel on Tuesday approved the P1.16-billion supplemental budget for the Dengvaxia vaccinees.
Included in this budget are the medical assistance program for the vaccinees, public health management and human resource for health deployment to continue monitoring the children. — RSJ, GMA News