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In the claws of Dengvaxia

By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Panic continues to grip the poor parents of kids who were administered the controversial vaccine Dengvaxia especially now that the drug was condemned anew by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) over the death of the 71st child.

PAO chief Attorney Persida Acosta said the death took place on July 19, just a few days after the passing of the 70th victim. Like many of the victims, the last two displayed common signs and symptoms like headache, body ache, bleeding, and difficulty in breathing. No matter what effort the doctors tried to extend to these children, their immune system was too weak that their condition worsened until they fell into a coma and died.

Acosta again called on the Department of Health (DoH) to declare the rising number of victims of the Dengvaxia vaccine a health emergency. She compared their efforts to those of the Biblical Noah who warned about the coming of a great flood but people would not believe him. Acosta has been asking for a declaration of a health emergency since January.

But is there is any truth to the news that the DoH is extending efforts to cover up the deaths of those children instead of preventing the demise of other inoculated kids?

This can hardly be taken for granted since Acosta’s sources are the parents of the victims themselves who revealed that the DoH has been providing R50,000 worth of subsidy for them along with a waiver they needed to sign, saying the deaths of their children are not related to Dengvaxia. Truth to tell, there is no reason for the parents to fabricate any story related to the deaths since the children’s bodies were all examined by PAO.

The DoH should be sensible enough to join hands with PAO and other government agencies to prevent more deaths.

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SHORT BURSTS. Congratulations Gabriel C. Barretto for gaining your license as Environmental Planner after being one of the 1,891 examinees who passed the Environmental Planners Licensure Exam 2018 given by the PRC last June 6-7. Barretto, who is the dean of the Real Estate Management Department at Gardner College, North Avenue, Quezon City, also holds licenses as a Real Estate Broker and Real Estate Appraiser… For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/