A 16-year-old girl “who received shots of Dengvaxia,” an anti-dengue vaccine, died on Wednesday, June 2, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) said.
PAO Chief Persida V. Rueda-Acosta has assured the parents of Rizza Mae J. Ribo that PAO will run after those behind the vaccination, including Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur and former and current officials of the Department of Health (DOH).
“Makakaasa ang mga magulang na hindi pababayaan ng forensic team at ng buong puwersa ng PAO, special panel of PAO lawyers na tumutulong po dito (The parents are assured that they will get assistance from the PAO forensic team and the entire PAO),” said Acosta in a video she posted on her Facebook account Wednesday night, June 2.
“Hindi po titigilan ito ng Public Attorney’s Office (The PAO will be relentless in pursuing this),” she added.
PAO forensic team led by Erwin P. Erfe conducted an autopsy of Ribo immediately following her death on June 2.
“Siya po ay pang-165 sa mga nabakunahan ng Dengvaxia na na-examine po ng PAO forensic team (She was the 165th Dengvaxia vaccinee who had been examined by the PAO forensics team),” said Erfe, a physician and a lawyer.
Citing the girl’s medical history, Erfe noted that she had never been hospitalized nor got infected with dengue prior receiving Dengvaxia shots.
Erfe said that Ribo had completed her vaccination after receiving shots in June 2016, December 2016, and August 2017.
“Nag-umpisa po ang mga signs of symptoms immediately after the first dose of Dengvaxia (The symptoms immediately appeared after the first shot),” he said. He also noted that Ribo had experienced headaches and nausea after the first vaccine dose.
He lamented that despite all the discomforts she had experienced, she still had her second and third doses.
“Pareho po ang naramdaman, naging sintomas. At ganoon din po ang nakita sa labi ng biktima kung saan may multi-organ enlargement at multiple organ hemorrhage (She experienced the same symptoms. Her remains also showed multi-organ enlargement and multiple organ hemorrhage),” he said.
He recounted that almost a million persons got vaccinated with Dengvaxia in the previous administration. This, despite the fact that Dengvaxia is an experimental vaccine.
“Ang nangyari sa atin dito ay mass at indiscriminate vaccinations ang ginawa nila. Turok sila ng turok hindi nila ini-examine yung mga bata (What happened was mass and indiscriminate vaccinations. They kept giving out doses without examining the children),” Erfe said as he pointed out that most of those inoculated were children.
He said that when Dengvaxia vaccinations were conducted in the United States, those who received the shots underwent strict selection process and examination.