Another child who received shots of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia has died, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) reported Saturday.
PAO forensics expert Dr. Erwin Erfe identified the child as Maekyla Cruz, 13, who was found to have received three shots of the vaccine.
Erfe said Cruz, a resident of Taguig City, is the 157th person suspected to have died from Dengvaxia.
She was autopsied by the PAO Forensic Team (PAOTF) Thursday following the request of her of her family – a week after she died at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in Quezon City.
“Preliminary findings showed multi-organ enlargement and multi-organ bleeding consistent with our findings in the other 156 Dengvaxia vaccinees who died after vaccination and examined by the PAOFT,” the doctor and lawyer said.
Based on their findings, Erfe said the PAOTF is recommending the filing of criminal cases against those who should be held accountable for her death.
“The PAO Forensic Team is of the opinion that this case fulfills legal causation criteria hence we will recommend the filing,” the forensic expert said.
”The family of MaeKyla had requested PAO to file, on their behalf, criminal and civil cases,” he added.
Erfe learned from the family that Cruz was taken to the hospital after complaining of headaches and numbness on her face.
It was found at the hospital that she had encephalitis or inflammation of the brain.
However, Cruz died after being confined at the hospital for one week.
Pursuant to Department Order No. 792 issued on December 2017 by then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, the PAO has been accepting the requests of the families of 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 Dengvaxia victims and intends to file more complaints for the other families.
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 current Iloilo First District Rep. Janette Garin, former and current officials of the Department of Health (DoH), and executives of Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur.