MANILA - Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said Tuesday that a seven-year-old girl died of severe dengue after suffering from organ failure.
In a post on his official Twitter account, Tayag said the girl was not among Filipino children earlier vaccinated with controversial anti-dengue drug Dengvaxia.
According to Tayag, he visited the 7-year-old girl at the hospital Monday just as the Senate blue ribbon committee was holding a hearing on the controversial dengue vaccine.
Drug maker Sanofi Pasteur earlier announced that its dengue vaccine Dengvaxia may cause more severe symptoms if given those who have not contracted the mosquito-borne disease.
The Philippines was the first country in Asia to approve the vaccine for individuals aged 9 to 45 in December 2015.
The Department of Health suspended its dengue immunization program for public school students after Sanofi Pasteur bared its vaccine's possible side effects.
In 2015, the government procured P3 billion worth of Dengvaxia intended for one million public school children in areas reported to have the highest incidence of dengue: Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON.