No solid proof yet dengvaxia caused deaths of 39 – DOH chief

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III at a hearing. (File photo by Joseph Vidal, Senate PRIB)

MANILA – There is no evidence yet that would directly link Dengvaxia to the death of 39 individuals who earlier received the vaccine, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday.

“As of latest count, 39 na ang naitala na pumanaw. Sa kasalukuyan, ito po ay iniimbestigahan. Ang mga ito ay nabakuhanan ng dengvaxia ngunit hindi maaaring iugnay direktamente na ang pagkamatay ng 39 ay dahil sa Dengvaxia [Thirty-nine have been reported dead so far. Right now, this is being investigated. These people were injected with dengvaxia but the deaths of the 39 cannot be directly concluded as having been caused by the vaccine],” he told the joint inquiry Monday by the House committees on good government and on health.

Duque said a task force formed under the DOH is investigating the deaths with the assistance of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). He said the department has submitted a copy of the report of the PGH to the Department of Justice, Senate and the House on the initial 14 deaths.

“The objective is to complement our findings. It doesn’t mean that because the Public Attorney’s Office has its own investigation, the PGH results are wrong, and vice versa,” he said.

Duque appealed to all bodies conducting their respective investigations to work together.

“This is a huge challenge confronting not just the public health system, but the entire government. The right strategy is to have a whole of government approach. The pinpointing should end, we need to collaborate,” he said.