By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Three in President Duterte’s family, including two kids, were among the Filipino school children who were administered with the controversial anti-dengue Dengvaxia vaccine.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go said Tuesday that three young members of the Duterte were vaccinated with Dengvaxia. However, he clarified Wednesday that only two Duterte kids and one adult received the vaccine.
Go clarified in a text message to Palace reporters that Duterte’s youngest daughter Veronica, granddaughter Sabina, and former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte’s wife January all received the vaccine.
Duterte’s most trusted aide said the clarification was made by January herself. However, he was not able to tell when the family members received the vaccine or how many doses were given.
“Kitty (Veronica), Sabina, and January (wife of Paolo). Uno, not yet. Per correction by January Duterte,” Go’s text message read.
Go made the initial revelation Tuesday after being supposedly asked by a reporter during the 120th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy in Pasay City.
“May nagtanong kanina na reporter kung na-inject raw ba si Kitty at ‘yung dalawang anak ni Paolo, kinonfirm naman po ng mga nanay nila na positive po na-inject po sila (A reporter asked earlier if Kitty and Paolo’s two kids were injected, the mother confirmed they received such injections),” he said Tuesday.
The revelation about Duterte’s family came amid the government’s investigation into the deaths of several children who were administered with the now controversial vaccine.
More than 800,000 Filipino children have received the vaccine under the program initiated by the Aquino administration. However, Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur revealed that the vaccine could worsen the effects of dengue on those who have not been exposed to the virus.
The Department of Health (DOH) said that as of May 15, 11 of the 87 children who died after receiving at least one dose of Dengvaxia had dengue despite their vaccination.
However, the DOH clarified that they do not have any evidence yet whether the vaccine had influenced or caused the deaths of the children.