Garin, 38 others face raps over doctor’s death allegedly due to Dengvaxia

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2019 05:37 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2019 06:06 PM

MANILA - The death of a doctor allegedly due to the Dengvaxia vaccine became the subject of the 31st complaint filed by the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against former Health Secretary Janette Garin and 38 others.

Norma Gotoc on Thursday filed complaints of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, torture, obstruction of justice and violation of the Consumer Act of the Philippines against Garin, current Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and several current and former health officials over the death of his son, Kendrick.

Also named in the complaint are the following:

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

Kendrick, a licensed nurse, pharmacist and doctor, died at age 39 on April 22, 2018.

His death certificate stated that he died due to septic shock and community-acquired pneumonia (high risk), and the underlying cause was diabetes mellitus hyperthyroidism.

In the complaint, Gotoc said she noticed her son losing weight, with rashes all over his body and blackened fingernails. She said her son frequently experienced head and stomach aches, palpitation, sleepiness and loss of appetite.

Kendrick’s sister, Cristina, said her brother admitted to her that he received 3 shots of Dengvaxia.

Former Department of Health (DOH) consultant Francisco Cruz told the media following Thursday’s filing that Kendrick, as part of the Quezon City health department, was forced to have 3 shots of Dengvaxia.

He, however, admitted that not one from the QC health department was included in the complaint, blaming Garin and other officials instead for purchasing the vaccines.

The DOH and several experts have insisted that there is no established link between Dengvaxia and the deaths allegedly due to the vaccine.

PAO chief Persida Acosta claimed they have autopsied the bodies of 113 alleged victims but that the total number of alleged victims has reached 600.

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

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