MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) will refer five new cases of deaths linked to the use of the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, to the panel of experts from the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
"At least five cases are for referral (to the panel) for review," DOH Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said in an interview with the media Tuesday.
Domingo said the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau was coordinating with hospitals to get the case records of these five new cases.
The UP-PGH panel was formed to validate independently allegations of death due to Dengvaxia, which had been administered to more than 830,000 public school children under a DOH immunization program.
The panel is already looking into 14 cases of deaths linked to the controversial dengue vaccine. The same cases are being investigated by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), saying that the children succumbed to Dengue Shock Syndrome.
Meanwhile, Sanofi Pasteur has agreed to pull out the unused Dengvaxia vaccines in DOH storage facilities until Friday.
During a press conference at the DOH media relations unit in Manila following a meeting between DOH and Sanofi officials Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that based on their latest count, the remaining stocks to be pulled out stand at 1,187,815 doses, worth PHP1,187,815,000.
"It was also agreed with Sanofi that reimbursement will be in about one to two days after retrieval," he said.
Duque said the vaccines would be picked up from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippine Children's Medical Center, and the DOH offices in Calabarzon, Central Luzon and the National Capital Region.
In Central Visayas where a community-based immunization for dengue was also held, the withdrawal of the vaccines would be completed by next week, he added.
The meeting was also attended by World Health Organization Country Representative Dr. Gundo Weiler. (PNA/Photo courtesy of Pharmacy FB page)