Philippines may tap foreign doctors to autopsy children who died allegedly due to Dengvaxia
President Rodrigo Duterte is open to get services of foreign doctors to study possible causes of deaths of some children who were injected with Sanofi Pasteur's anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, Malacanang said on Friday.
In a press briefing in Camarines Sur, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte met with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, former Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chair and now Presidential Anti-Graft Commission chairman Dante Jimenez and Public Attorney's Office chief Percida Acosta on Thursday and discussed the Dengvaxia mess.
"Because of lack of clinical pathologists here in the Philippines, the president said that if there is a need, we will tap foreign clinical pathologists to study these youths who died due to Dengvaxia vaccine," he said.
Only PAO doctors have conducted autopsies of 14 children whose deaths were blamed to Dengvaxia vaccine.
Philippine General Hospital Director Gerardo Legaspi and a group of health experts and practitioners have said there was no direct evidence for now Dengvaxia caused the death of the children.
During the same meeting, Duterte has ordered all public hospitals to provide free services to all children who have been vaccinated with Sanofi Pasteur's vaccine, Roque said.
He said Duterte also reiterated his commitment to hold accountable those who have caused the mess.
With the Dengvaxia vaccine controversy, some parents have become hesitant to let their children receive other types of vaccine, such as anti-measles.
But Roque urged parents to allow their children to have other vaccines so they would not acquire other serious illnesses.
"We understand the parents' hesitance, but because of the fear to have (other) vaccines, there is now measles outbreak, which should not be the case," he said without elaborating where the measles outbreak is. Celerina Monte/DMS