Grade 5 pupil dies of severe dengue months after receiving Dengvaxia shot

A Grade 5 pupil in Mariveles, Bataan, died of severe dengue in October last year, months after she received a shot of Dengvaxia, the world’s first dengue vaccine.

Christine Mae de Guzman, who had no previous history of dengue, developed severe headache and fever on October 11, was rushed to the Bataan General Hospital on October 14, and died on October 15. She received the first Dengvaxia shot in April.

De Guzman’s death certificate stated that she died due to disseminated intravascular coagulopathy and severe dengue.

Marivic and Nelson,the parent of grade 5 student who believe her condition was caused by the vaccine, are hoping for justice, especially after Sanofi Pasteur, Dengvaxia’s manufacturer, admitted that the vaccine may aggravate the disease in people who have not been afflicted previously by dengue.

“Sana po magkaroon ng hustisya sa pagkamatay ng anak ko,” Marivic said. “‘Di naman po kasi masakitin ‘yung anak ko. First time po niyang magkasakit ng ganun tapos dire-diretso po.”

The report said Marivic and Nelson signed a parental consent form before their daughter was given the anti-dengue vaccination.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) will present De Guzman’s death in the class action lawsuit it hopes to file against those involved on the controversial P3.5-billion dengue vaccination program of the Department of Health (DOH).

Prior to De Guzman’s case, the death of an 11-year-old student who supposedly died after receiving the anti-dengue vaccine was brought up in a Senate blue ribbon committee investigation on the program in 2016.

Meanwhile, student Amy Tamayo from Tarlac reportedly contracted dengue despite receiving her third dose of Dengvaxia last August.

“Sa DOH naman po, sana naman po sa nangyari sa apo ko, naging leksyon na dapat po hindi basta-basta gumagawa ng mga ganito siguro,” Amalia, Amy’s grandmother, said.

The consent form shown by Amalia Tamayo only informed the parent of the free vaccination and none of the possible side effects of the dengue vaccine.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said this case puts to question the efficacy of Dengvaxia, which promised to give protection against dengue in the first 30 months.

“Well, lumalabas na hindi 30 months. Wala namang testing ginawa. Bago ito binigay, wala namang ginawang test to look for antibodies na magpapatunay na nagkaroon ng infection. Wala namang ganun, or failure ng vaccine itself na hindi nakapagbigay ng protection,” he said.

The DOH, which suspended the vaccination program, has started monitoring all students in Bataan and other regions who were given Dengvaxia.