UP-PGH to release findings on Dengvaxia ‘deaths’


THE result of the investigation conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) on the alleged deaths caused by Dengvaxia will be released next week, Health Undersecretary Rolando Domingo said on Saturday.

Domingo said the findings of the UP-PGH Dengue Investigative Task Force (DITF) will be released even as the Health department continues to gather data on the death of dozens of other suspected Dengvaxia victims.

“The DITF report for the next 17 cases I think were submitted already so their analysis will be released probably next week,” he told reporters.

“This is after the WHO session where we had additional strengthening capacity building,” he added, referring to the one-week training from foreign experts and specialists from the World Health Organization helped train the task force and other related committees in ‘adverse events following immunization.’

Domingo said 31 cases are now with the UP-PGH expert panel. The first batch of results was released in February, where three out of 14 cases were seen to have “causal association” with the vaccine.

The panel is still conducting investigations to conclude if the three cases have direct links to the anti-dengue medicine.

“Causal association” is defined by the report as “the relationship of two events in which the second event is a consequence of the first. Sometimes, multiple factors may cause the event or may function as co-factors when the event occurs.”

The Health official confirmed that at least 62 people have been documented to have died after being inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine.

“We are completing their [medical]records. Then of course, once we have the medical records complete, we are going to pass them again to the DITF for assessment of the cause of death,” he said.

The government suspended its dengue immunization program after Sanofi Pasteur, the maker of Dengvaxia, warned inNovember last year that the vaccine may cause severe dengue to those who have never been exposed to the dengue virus.

The dengue immunization program was initiated in 2016 as a school-based program under Health Secretary Janette Garin. At least 830,000 people were said to have been inoculated by the vaccine. KENNETH HERNANDEZ


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