By JEFFREY DAMICOG
Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta insisted that the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia has been responsible for the deaths of a number of children.
“The 60 Dengvaxia casualties we have examined had these adverse effects attributed to the vaccine – internal organ bleeding, edema and hemorrhages,” Acosta said yesterday.
“Dengvaxia has side effects as admitted by Sanofi (Dengvaxia maker Sanofi Pasteur) in December 2016 before the vaccine was bought – allergic anaphylactic reaction, viscerotropism, neurotropism and/or severe dengue,” she cited.
Acosta reacted to the recent claims made by former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III that up to now there has been no proof that the vaccine can cause deaths.
Aquino is currently facing criminal complaints over his involvement in the P3.5 billion purchase of the vaccine which was distributed to over 800,000 children through a mass vaccination program.
Acosta also vouched for the credibility of the PAO forensic team which has been conducting the autopsies of alleged Dengvaxia victims but was questioned by Aquino as being non-experts in the field.
“Our forensics team consists of clinical experts, medico-legal doctors and two senior pathologists and doctors from University of East Ramon Magsaysay Hospital and Ospital ng Maynila,” the PAO chief said.
On the other hand, she admitted that panic cannot be avoided due to the concern over Dengvaxia.
“Panic and hysteria are expected because most of the victims are poor and have no money for hospitalization,” she pointed out.
“It is natural to cry when your child gets sick after getting vaccine or dies later on,” the PAO Chief added.
Aquino claimed that the Dengvaxia scare has been causing unnecessary panic to the public.