THE chief of the Forensics Division of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) claimed before a Quezon City court on Tuesday that the Department of Health (DoH) has been deceiving the public as it continues to hide facts especially on serious adverse effects of Covid-19 vaccines, particularly for minors 5 to 11 years old.

Dr. Erwin Erfe, also a practicing lawyer and PAO Forensics Division director, told Judge Maria Cherell de Castro-Sansaet of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court's Branch 222 that the DoH has been keeping to itself critical information about the vaccines.

"Here is another example of bad faith or deception [of] the public committed by the DoH. I have come across an article published on Feb. 6, 2022, at DoH Cordillera Center for Health Development entitled Resbakuna Kids: Vaccination for 5 to 11 years old starts February 7. The DoH stated in the article, 'We are further encouraged by data globally showing that [in the case of] the over 8.7 million vaccinated children, there have been no reports of deaths attributable to the vaccines. Among those vaccinated, 97.5 percent did not experience any side effects, while 2.4 percent experienced mild effects,'" Erfe said.

But, according to him, reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide that 97.6 percent of VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) reports were for non-serious events and 2.4 percent were for serious events, which included seizures, increased troponin (indicative of cardiac damage or injury), myocarditis, pericarditis and deaths.

"Based on the foregoing, the DoH may be intentionally misinterpreting data to downplay the adverse effects of the vaccine[s] and eventually deceive the public of the same, completely affecting their [parents'] intelligent judgment whether to have their children inoculated with Covid-19 vaccine[s]," he told the judge.

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Erfe, who personally supervised autopsies on 166 victims of another controversial vaccine — Dengvaxia — whose parents and relatives were also petitioners against mass vaccination for minors, also alleged that the children, most especially those five to 11 years old, are a very vulnerable population that must be protected.

He said the children lack rational decision-making capacity to intelligently and legally consent to matters that will greatly affect their health and interest, more importantly on matters where they are subjected to research and experimentation because of the administration of an "experimental vaccine."

"These children cannot understand the potential risks, recognized under Republic Act 11525 [and by] the CDC and the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, consequent to them being vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccine[s]. In all cases, more especially on the issue at hand, our young children needed proven safe and efficacious interventions in protecting and promoting their health, to guarantee the health and safety of our future generations," Erfe added.

Saying the parents of the Dengvaxia victims were not afforded informed consent and, worse, some only learned that their children were inoculated with the anti-dengue vaccine, which was banned by the then-administration of president Rodrigo Duterte for being unsafe to public health, the PAO official said the DoH "hastily, negligently and with bad faith introduced the Dengvaxia to the public and its eventual rollout on mass vaccination."

"It is worthy to note that the Department of Health is now rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination among children ages 5 to 11 and the DoH is committing the same negligence, misrepresentation, misinformation, and with bad faith, the rolling-out of the Covid-19 vaccination, particularly, to children," Erfe added.

The PAO forensics chief said the DoH has a "duty to disclose, in the exercise of reasonable care, to a potential vaccine recipient, as to whatever mild, moderate, serious risks of injury, the possibility of death and rare adverse events might be incurred from a proposed course of treatment, and alternative treatments, so that a potential ['vaccinee'] or parent of minor vaccine recipient, exercising ordinary care for his own or child's welfare, may intelligently exercise his or her judgment whether to give consent to it or not."

Erfe echoed earlier statements of witnesses that no Covid-19 vaccine has been issued with any certificate of product registration (CPR) by the FDA and only emergency use authorizations (EUAs) were granted to existing Covid-19 vaccines.

Pharmacologist-toxicologist Dr. Romeo Quijano also told the court about the alleged danger and hazard to human health of the vaccines that he described as obsolete.

"For sure, there are already a big number of people who have suffered seriously and others have died after being inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccines and more are still suffering as a result," Quijano said.

He added that the DoH did not completely disclose the deaths and serious side effects like anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction); myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation of the heart); blood clotting and other blood disorders; loss of consciousness, convulsion and balance disorder; paralysis and severe pain (headache, body pain, joint pain); respiratory depression, chest discomfort and dysphagia; confusion, hallucination, sleep disorder; and blurred vision, diplopia, eye pain, tinnitus and vertigo.

Quijano said the Philippines FDA had reported serious adverse effects like hypersensitivity including severe allergic reactions; increased blood pressure; thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome; inflammation of the heart; Capillary Leak syndrome; Guillain-Barre syndrome; Bell's palsy; and immune thrombocytopenia.

The DoH, he said, would always stress that the possible side effects of a vaccine include pain, redness, itchiness or swelling at the injection site (which may last a few hours); fever; feeling of weakness or fatigue; headache; dizziness; diarrhea; or nausea.

"They never mentioned the serious side effects," Quijano noted.