Deaths not due to Dengvaxia
Buried under an avalanche of other news was a report from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) that the supposed deaths of children in the Dengvaxia controversy were not caused by the anti-dengue vaccine.
Geez! But why was this report not played up by the media?
The answer is simple: It was not interesting to readers who had already formed an opinion based on distorted news about the antidengue vaccine.
And what about the parents who claimed that their children died after being given Dengvaxia?
It is possible that they were paid by some quarters to destroy the reputation of certain personalities and make others look good.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in a media briefing on Feb. 3, said that only three deaths were found to have a “causal association” with Dengvaxia.
Causal association means that the supposed victims died despite receiving the vaccine, not because of it.
Two of the three deaths might had been due to vaccine failure, said Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo, citing the UP-PGH report.
It’s ridiculous when a pseudoexpert like Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II orders the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), an agency under him, to investigate the supposed Dengvaxia deaths.
Sen. Tito Sotto has said that PAO was not a medical group “because the people investigating are not scientific experts.”
With the findings of the UP-PGH research team, PAO has become a laughingstock.
And what does that make of Aguirre?
Despite the findings of the UP-PGH, the House of Representatives continued on Monday the hearing on the dengue vaccine controversy.
Why? Because congressmen wanted their faces shown on national television.
Like their counterparts in the Senate, House members also want their share of publicity.
Legislators should be reminded that their primary purpose is to pass laws, not investigate and humiliate resource persons in public.
Nakakasuka na kayo, mga pare ko!
The hearings on the dengue vaccine have been dragging on for months.
Where is it going? As in other hearings, nowhere!
But one thing is sure: It has demonized some people and destroyed the reputation of the Department of Health (DOH) as a guardian of public health.
As a result, the public has lost trust in the DOH so much so that parents no longer want their kids to be dewormed and immunized for other ailments.
Is it true Health Secretary Francisco Duque III backs his predecessor, Janette Garin, on the Dengvaxia controversy but is too scared to go public?
The reason for this is he has his own share of skeletons in the closet during his term as DOH chief during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, my sources at the DOH told me.
The same sources said Duque didn’t want the closet reopened.
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