PAO files 30th Dengvaxia-related complaint vs Garin, 38 others

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 28 2018 08:14 PM | Updated as of Dec 28 2018 10:13 PM

MANILA - The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) on Friday filed with the Department of Justice the 30th Dengvaxia-related complaint against former Health Secretary Janette Garin and 38 others, citing the death of a 12-year-old girl in Pampanga.

The PAO claimed that the girl, who had never suffered dengue and had no history of hospitalization, fell sick and died of internal hemorrhage in the brain and in multiple organs 6 months after she received the third dose of the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Aside from Garin, 38 others were named in the complaint, all accused of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, torture and violation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines.

Among those named in the complaint were officials of Sanofi Pasteur Inc, maker of the Dengvaxia vaccine, its distributor Zuellig Pharma Corporation, doctors of the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine who conducted clinical trials, some officers of the Food and Drug Administration who approved the Dengvaxia vaccine’s certificate of product registration, and two doctors from the Philippine Children's Medical Center who allegedly facilitated the purchase of the vaccine.

Twenty-nine other Dengvaxia-related complaints are currently pending before the DOJ.

Some of the complaints impleaded current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who is accused of obstruction of justice for refusing to release a list of those who have been inoculated with the vaccine.

Two batches of complaints have so far been submitted for resolution and are expected to be resolved by two panels of prosecutors early next year.

One of the additional respondents in the second batch of complaints, Dr. Raymundo Lo, submitted his counter-affidavit also on Friday.

PAO accused Lo of authorizing his colleague, Dr. Sonia Gonzales, to sign a purchase request for P3-billion worth of the Dengvaxia vaccine, a claim Lo had earlier rejected.

Both Lo and Gonzales were among those named in the 30th complaint.

Government stopped its nationwide dengue vaccination program and pulled the drug out of the market a year ago after Sanofi warned that Dengvaxia may cause severe symptoms if administered on those who had not been afflicted with the mosquito-borne disease.

Sanofi has maintained no death has been confirmed to have been caused by Dengvaxia.