Fourth child in Cebu who got Dengvaxia vaccine has died

By: Futch Anthony Inso March 05,2018 - 10:49 PM

The Dengvaxia scare continues to hound Cebuanos after a fourth child, a 10-year-old from San Fernando town who got vaccinated last year, died last Friday.

A 10-year-old girl from San Fernando town, south Cebu, who received a shot of Dengvaxia vaccine last year, has died last Friday, the regional office of the Department of Health (DOH-7) said.

It was the fourth reported death of a child who got the anti-dengue vaccine in the province.

DOH-7 Regional Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas confirmed this in a press conference yesterday. But Bernadas said it is too early to blame the child’s death on Dengvaxia especially since the girl was also diagnosed with a congenital heart disease.

Dr. Shelbay Blanco, the DOH-7 Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) coordinator, told reporters that according to the child’s parents, the girl was healthy. She was brought to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) last month because of chest pains and difficulty breathing.

The child stayed in the hospital for three weeks before she died last Friday.

The child’s parents were not at the presscon.

Bernadas revealed that the DOH-7 has recorded 156 cases of children who were admitted to different hospitals in Cebu following post-dengue vaccination but only 16 were confirmed with having dengue. All cases were covered by PhilHealth, said Bernadas.

“All post-dengvaxia cases who were admitted to hospitals will automatically be covered with PhilHealth while those who will be admitted to public hospitals are treated with zero balance billing. We are also encouraging private hospitals to automatically cover patients who received dengue immunization with Philhealth packages,” he said.

The three other deaths of children given Dengvaxia shots included a 9-year-old girl from Barangay Labangon, Cebu City who died last January in what health authorities said was due to tuberculosis-meningitis. Last month, a 13-year-old boy from Medellin town died due to aplastic anemia while a 10-year-old boy from Madredejos town, also died due to rheumatic heart disease.

Bernadas said that all four who died have not been infected with dengue. The Dengvaxia mass vaccination drive was held last June to August of 2017.

All three previous deaths were also autopsied, the results of which, Bernadas said, will be submitted to the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) panel, for further investigation.

Out of the four who died, two underwent an autopsy procedure at VSMMC, while the other two were autopsied by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

Dr. Reynette Christine Ligaray, head of the Pathology Department of the VSMMC, said that during autopsy, they found hemorrhage in the brain and lungs of the victims. She said they also extracted tissues from other organs for further examination.

They also clarified, that the father of the 13-year-old boy from Medellin town has signed a letter of consent from their office for the extraction of the boy’s internal organs during the conduct of the autopsy.

Based on a television report, the mother of the boy has sought the assistance of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), after she learned that the internal organs of her son were extracted without her permission.

“The father of the child has given us consent. But maybe the mother or other members of the family were not present during the time that this was explained to the father,” Ligaray said.

Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., chief of hospital of VSMMC, also revealed that starting yesterday; the hospital will put up a Dengvaxia fast lane in compliance with an order from the DOH central office.

He said that all immunized cases will be separated from their usual dengue fast lane, so that they can create their own database.

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TAGS: Cebu‬, child, Dengvaxia, died, fourth, vaccine

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