The deaths allegedly caused by Dengvaxia
There had been reports of three children from Bataan who died allegedly because of the vaccine they were injected with in April 2016. But according to Dr. Ruby Dizon, Sanofi Pasteur Philippines Medical Director, the report was a case of misinformation and that an independent expert committee convened by the Department of Health has assessed the deaths as not related to the vaccine.
Ching Santos, Sanofi Pasteur general manager, has also said on Monday that no deaths were caused by the vaccine. All the study participants who had severe dengue have fully recovered and potential cases of severe dengue would not be fatal.
What the government is doing
Aside from suspending the distribution of Dengvaxia, the Department of Justice has said that the National Bureau of Investigation will be investigating the vaccination program with regards to public health safety. It warned that there could be charges depending on the result. The Department of Health is also currently reviewing its contract with Sanofi Pasteur.
Our government is acting upon the situation as quickly as they can for public health safety.
What you should do if you or someone you know got the vaccine
If you have a relative that has been administered Dengvaxia and they begin to get ill and you suspect it’s because of the vaccine, report the case immediately. Sanofi has already assured the public that their vaccine will not lead to deaths, the worst case scenario is that it would lead to severe illness. They are also seeking to have a dialogue with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the next steps to take.
Prevention is better than cure
Taking precautions and extra measures could go a long way. Since mosquitos are everywhere and you wouldn’t be aware all the time of them biting you, wear clothing that will cover most of your skin. If it’s too warm for long clothing, apply mosquito patches from drug stores and convenience stores or insect repellant lotion. In houses make sure that there is no stagnant water left anywhere that mosquitos could breed in. Buy a bug spray and spray in your house while children are off in school.
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