PAO files another Dengvaxia case

The Public Attorney's Office (PAO) on Friday filed fresh complaints on the death of school children supposedly due to health complications arising from the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine.

The latest charges filed by the relatives of victims Shekina Venice Arciaga, 13, and Levon Zirine Santos, 10, involved alleged reckless imprudence resulting in homicide; violation of a provision of Republic Act (RA) 9745 on torture resulting in the death of any person and torture committed against children; and violation of provisions of RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines on "mislabeled drugs and devices" and "defective products".

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Arciaga died on October 28 after suffering from severe dengue despite getting anti-dengue shots, while Santos died on November 18. Each of them got three shots of Dengvaxia.

Named in the charge sheet filed on Friday were officials of the pharmaceutical firms Zuellig Pharma Corp. and Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., along with public health officials, among them former health secretary Janette Garin and her successor Francisco Duque III.

PAO chief Persida Acosta earlier said other victims have died but their respective families were either hesitant to file suits or have settled with the PHP50,000 given to them by the government as support.

The PAO is mandated to assist victims in the controversy.

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