2 of 14 deaths caused by Dengvaxia vaccine failure: report
Two out of the 14 deaths of children given Dengvaxia that were investigated are suspected to have been caused by vaccine failure, based on an initial report of the Philippine General Hospital - Dengue Investigate Task Force (PGH-DITF).
In a press conference Friday, PGH-DITF chair Juliet Sio-Aguilar said they found three children to have died due to dengue shock syndrome despite being vaccinated with Dengvaxia. Two may be on account of vaccine failure.
"We cannot say anything (to that effect), but we can say that they contracted dengue, the wild type. All of them succumbed to the dengue wild type virus,” said Sio-Aguilar.
She said two children died after receiving three doses of the vaccine while one died days after being given only the first dose.
Sio-Aguilar said two children, who completed the three doses, fell ill a month after the third dose, and died five days after the onset of the illness.
She said the other one got sick four days after the first dose, dying five days after the onset of the illness.
Sio-Aguilar said only one of the three developed dengue antibodies, which were supposed to serve as protection against dengue, but the child still died.
“We really want to know what happened. The third case developed antibodies, protection against dengue, but the child still died,” Sio-Aguilar said.
This, she said, means the three cases of the children, who died of dengue, must undergo tissue evaluation for polymerase chain reaction, and antibodies to yellow fever and dengue viruses.
The report showed six other cases were due to unscreened comorbidities, such as congenital heart disease, brain infection, pontine hemorrhage, and cardiac arrhythmia, but died within 30 days after receiving the vaccine.
Another three deaths were found to have inconsistent causal association to immunization.
Finally, two deaths were unclassifiable due to inadequate information.
The PGH-DITF submitted to the Department of Health (DOH) its report.
Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said the initial results of the PGH-DITF "strengthen our decision to suspend the dengue immunization program."
"Dengvaxia is not fit for a mass immunization program that does not screen for prior dengue infection and co-morbidities of children before the administration of the vaccine,” said Domingo.
He said the DOH will give the report along with that of the National Expert Panel to the Department of Justice. DMS