Another teen-age girl who received shots of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia has passed away, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) said.
PAO Chief Persida Acosta identified the girl in her Facebook post on Friday, Oct. 9, as Ma. Vinna Mae Etang, 15, who passed away last Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Acosta noted that Etang is the 158th Dengvaxia recipient who passed away and the PAO forensics team autopsied.
The PAO forensics team led by its Director Dr. Erwin Erfe conducted the autopsy of Etang also on Wednesday at the request of her family.
“Consistent po ang mga simtomas na naramdaman ng biktima doon po sa mga naramdaman ng mga biktima na na-examine po natin (the symptoms she experienced were consistent with the other Dengvaxia victims that the PAO examined),” Erfe said in the video posted by Acosta.
He noted that the victims suffered stomachaches, headaches, and flu.
“Ganoon din po ang nakita namin sa pag-examine ng kanyang labi na nakakita kami ng paglaki ng mga internal organs at pagdurugo po ng iba’t ibang bahagi ng katawan (The preliminary findings of the autopsy of the girl was also consistent with the other victims including enlargement and bleeding of internal organs),” the doctor said.
“Ang pinaka-matindi po na pagdurugo ay nakita sa kanyang utak at sa kanyang dalawang baga (There was particularly severe bleeding in the brain and the two lungs),” he pointed out.
Erfer said that Dengvaxia manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur itself issued a December 2015 advisory which states that those who never had dengue could experience viscerotropism, neurotropism, severe dengue and anaphylactic reaction
Etang, who has never had dengue nor had been hospitalized, received doses of Dengvaxia on March 2016, Oct. 2016, and 2017.
Erfe learned from the family that two months after the third shot Etang had skin rashes and complained of repeated headaches and dizziness.
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.