MANILA, Philippines — Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque on Friday confirmed that a 12-year-old student from Tarlac had suffered from severe dengue after she was injected with Dengvaxia, supposedly the world’s only vaccine to protect people from the dreaded mosquito-borne disease.
During a press briefing in Malacañang, Duque said that “luckily, after some time, the child has recovered and thank God she has recovered after having been managed quite effectively.”
It was not yet clear whether the DOH chief was referring to a 12-year-old girl who was reportedly admitted to Jecsons Medical Center in Tarlac City and was later said to be transferred to an undisclosed medical facility in Pampanga.
The child reportedly received three shots of the vaccine between April 2016 and August 2017 before she contracted dengue in December of this year.
Last December 1, days after French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur admitted that its product poses risks to people who were immunized with the vaccine before contracting dengue, Duque said Dengvaxia has a 30-month protection period against the disease regardless whether an individual had prior dengue infection or not.
If reports were true that the child from Tarlac suffered from dengue 16 months since her first Dengvaxia shot and if the DOH chief was referring to the same girl, then that claim that the vaccine has a 30-month protection period would be unreliable.
Also on Friday, Duque said the DOH was monitoring another dengue patient in Cebu and finding out if the child’s medical condition had something to do with Dengvaxia vaccination.
As of November 2017, there were a total of 733,713 public schoolchildren aged 9 and above who received the first dose of Dengvaxia in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon, according to the DOH chief.
Duque is urging parents to keep an eye on their children, who received Dengvaxia shots, and rush them to the nearest hospital or doctor if they sense that they are showing early signs of dengue.
“Ako po ay nananawagan sa inyo na maging mapagmatyag po kayo bilang mga magulang…H’wag na po kayong mag-atubili at magdalawang-isip pa. Mangyari lamang po na dalhin niyo na sa pinakamalapit na doktor at pagamutan,” he said.
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