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DOH to probe death of 2 Cebu infants

By Kier Edison C. Belleza

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas vows to look into the death of two infants in Barangay Pajac this city, with the parents claiming the untimely death was prompted by an “overdose” of vaccines.

“All the details in connection with this report will be included in the investigation, where DOH personnel will visit the areas… Our task is to give out immunizations through our health centers but because of the death of the children, we will conduct an investigation,” said DOH-7 Assistant Regional Director Dr. Sophia Mancao.

It was earlier reported a midwife assigned at a public health center administered Wednesday a pentavalent vaccine (PV) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, to 3-month-old Ghirvaughn Mcreign Limpangog and 4-month-old Ayesha Mae Suson, respectively.

Both died three days later.

Limpangog’s death certificate cited “status epilepticus” as immediate cause of death with “meningitis” as underlying cause.

Suson’s, on the other hand, was “electrolyte imbalance secondary to acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration.”

The families of the two children, however, blame an “overdose” of vaccines caused the death of the infants.

The city health office has since issued a mandate to temporarily discontinue the administration of vaccines pending the outcome of the investigation, which will be conducted by the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of the DOH.

Ariel Igoy, Limpangog’s grandfather, lodged Tuesday a complaint before the DOH regional office on behalf of his family and of the Susons.

“We want DOH to probe what happened because we don’t want this happening to other kids in the future. It has been very painful to us because the babies were really healthy before they were given the vaccines. They became weak only after being given the vaccines,” Igoy said in Cebuano.

Igoy refused an autopsy for his grandchild, “because we pity him, especially that we, until now, cannot accept his passing.”

Lenlen, Suson’s mother, is adamant her child’s death was due to “overdose.”

Igoy echoed the statement of Lenlen, noting his grandchild was given two doses of PV, which he believed might have been too much.

Sought for comment, Lapu-Lapu City Health Officer Dr. Rodolfo Berame dismissed the notion.

“I feel it is not vaccine-related. If we say the babies have died because of the vaccines, then they should have passed away on the day they were given the shots,” Berame said.

Limpangog was laid to rest yesterday at the Humay-Humay Public Cemetery here.

Suson will be buried today.