PAO to file charges on behalf of Dengvaxia ‘victim’

Published September 2, 2020, 3:10 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Wednesday, Sept. 2, vowed to file charges against those who should be held liable over the death of another child who got inoculated with the experimental anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

Public Attorney’s Office (MANILA BULLETIN)

PAO forensic expert Dr. Erwin Erfe identified the deceased as Zorev Nayve, 14, a resident of Pasay City.

“Ipa-file ito kasi yung findings namin dito consistent doon sa mga nakita namin previously (We will file charges on behalf of his family because our findings is similar to our previous findings),” the doctor-lawyer said.

Erfe noted Nayve is the 156th person to have fallen ill and died on account of the effects of having been injected with the anti-dengue drug Dengvaxia that his team has autopsied.

The doctor said his team conducted the autopsy on the deceased last Sunday, Aug. 30, following his death last Saturday, Aug. 29, at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon CIty where he was undergoing dialysis.

“Nung binuksan namin yung katawan na, nakita namin yung bleeding doon sa lungs, may bleeding sa heart, may bleeding sa iba’t ibang part, gastrointestinal track meron din, tapo sa brain may bleeding din (When we opened him up, we saw bleedings in the lungs, heart, gastrointestinal track, brain and other organs),” he recounted.

“So essentially pareho lang findings doon sa mga na-examine namin previously (We had similar findings with others),” Erfe pointed out.

The doctor noted that the boy also underwent confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests last Aug. 26 and showed that he has no 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID).

“Sabi nung doktor nag-choke daw. Yun daw ang ikinamatay (The attending doctor said the boy choked to death),” said Erfe who learned that Nayve was eating when he suddenly went under “arrest” during dialysis.

Doubting the explanation of the NKTI doctor, Erfe said the parents of Nayve decided to seek the help of PAO.

“Nung binuksan namin yung lalamunan, wala naman kaming makita doon na pagkain, object doon o debris (When we opened the throat, we saw no food, any object or debris),” he said.

Meanwhile, Erfe expressed hope that fewer children who had been inoculated with Dengvaxia will suffer from serious illnesses or die, as he observed that the potency of the vaccine is around three years.

“Lahat ng mga namatay na nakita namin, within three years namatay sila after the last dose of the vaccine (All of the dead victims we observe have died within three years from the last dose of the vaccine),” he said.

Nayve received three doses of the vaccine with the last one taken in December 2017.

Pursuant to Department Order No. 792 issued on December 2017 by then Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II, the PAO has been accepting the requests of the families of alleged Dengvaxia victims to assist them in the prosecution of those who should be held responsible for the deaths.

The PAO has already filed complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the families of 56 alleged Dengvaxia victims and intends to file additional complaints.

So far, the DOJ has approved the filing of charges in court concerning the deaths of 17 children.

Those charged include former health secretary and currently Iloilo First District Rep. Janette Garin, former and current officials of the Department of Health (DOH) and executives of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur.