Garin warned vs ‘systemic side effects’ of Dengvaxia, experts’ letter shows | Inquirer News
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Garin warned vs ‘systemic side effects’ of Dengvaxia, experts’ letter shows

/ 03:12 PM May 24, 2018

Even before the start of the government’s national anti-dengue vaccination program, academics, scientists, clinicians, and concerned citizens wrote then Health Secretary Janette Garin and expressed their concern over the “systemic side effects” of Dengvaxia to patients, especially children.

The letter, dated March 27, 2016, or a few days before the anti-dengue vaccination started was released by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) during Thursday’s preliminary investigation on the Dengvaxia controversy at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

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PAO has been representing parents and relatives, who filed nine separate complaints against former and incumbent Health officials, following the death of their children vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

“The potential for harm has been demonstrated in the published studies,” read the March 27, 2016 letter, adding that the government may not have enough trained healthcare workers to administer the vaccine.

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“The studies show systemic side effects in up to 57 percent of patients. This may cause a public furor, especially if any children die,” the letter also noted.

The experts and concerned individuals also informed the Department of Health (DOH) that a new generation dengue vaccine was being tested “and may have better efficacy, needs only one dose and may overcome the possible harm and numerous adverse effects.”

They said that given the cost of Dengvaxia, which was more than P3-billion, and the uncertainty surrounding its possible effects, “we should probably wait for the new generation vaccine that will come out in a few years.”

The same letter noted that the cost-effective study used by the DOH was commissioned by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of Dengvaxia.

“We believe an independent analysis needs to be performed,” the letter pointed out.

The letter formed part of the documents submitted during the Senate investigation. It was signed by Antonio L. Dans (Academician, National Academy of Science and Technology), Minerva Calimag (Philippine Medical Association), Benjamin Co from the University of Santo Tomas, Leonila F. Dans (Department of Pediatrics, UP College of Medicine), Mercy Fabros and Ana Maria R. Nemenzo (WomanHealth), Mary Ann Lansang (Department of Clinical Epidemiology, UP College of Medicine, Maria Asuncion Silvestre (Asia-Pacific Center for Evidence-Based Healthcare), and Madeleine de Rosas (former Undersecretary of the Department of Health).

INQUIRER.net already tried to get the side of Garin regarding this issue. But the former DOH chief has yet to respond, as of posting time.

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The record of the Senate inquiry into the Dengvaxia controversy was likewise submitted to the DOJ during Thursday’s preliminary investigation.

PAO further submitted to the DOJ documents showing that, as early as 2015, Sanofi Pasteur has already identified risks of being inoculated with Dengvaxia. These risks include anaphylactic reaction (severe allergy), viscerotropism (acute muscular vital organ dysfunction after vaccination) and neurotropism, increase in the severity of dengue disease, and waning protection against dengue disease.

The DOJ prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Emilia Victorio required Garin, current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and several others to respond to the complaints via the submission of counter-affidavits on June 25, 2018.     /kga

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TAGS: dengue, Dengvaxia, DoJ, investigation, Letter, PAO, Probe, Sanofi Pasteur, warning
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