DOH probes Cebu boy hospitalized for dengue after vaccine

Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2017 05:48 PM

CEBU CITY - The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas is investigating the case of a 10-year-old boy who contracted dengue after getting the dengue vaccine in August.

The patient's mother said her son has been suffering from high fever since Monday last week and, due to fears that the child may have acquired side effects of controversial vaccine Dengvaxia, he was admitted to a private hospital.

She said her son is now in stable condition.

The boy had never had dengue fever when he was given the vaccine, according to his mother.

The patient is just one of the more than 150,000 Cebu children aged 9 to 14 who were given the first dose of the anti-dengue vaccine under government's vaccination program.

Cebu Provincial Health Office Director Dr. Rene Catan confirmed that this was the third recorded case of a patient who fell ill of dengue after the vaccination.

Free vaccination of students aged 9 and up in areas of high dengue incidence began in January 2016. But the immunization program was suspended last week after drug maker Sanofi Pasteur disclosed that Dengvaxia may cause "more cases of severe disease" if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne illness before. 

Sanofi, however, said Dengvaxia's potential side effects would not be fatal. 

The DOH office in Region 7 is expediting its surveillance of all those given the vaccine.

The Cebu Provincial Health Office said it would help in the profiling of those immunized. Catan urged parents or guardians of those who were vaccinated to go to the nearest rural health units and have themselves included in the surveillance.

Catan said their office would come up with a complete list of children given the dengue vaccine and provide a copy to different public and private hospitals in the province.