TWO babies from Barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City died last Saturday, three days after they were given different vaccines at the barangay health center.
Last Nov. 8, the midwife injected Ghirvaughn Mcreign Limpangog, a three-month-old boy, with a pentavalent shot; and Ayesha Mae Suson, a four-month-old girl, with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).
They suffered seizures and a fever soon after, prompting their families to blame the vaccines for their deaths.
However, Lapu-Lapu City Health Officer Rodolfo Berame said the babies died from other causes.
“That is fake news. Why fake news? Based on the death certificate, the girl died of acute gastoentiritis with severe dehydration, while the boy died of meningitis,” he said in Cebuano.
Limpangog’s immediate cause of death was “status epilepticus.” “Meningitis” was written in the underlying cause section.
In Suson’s case, her immediate cause of death was “electrolyte imbalance secondary to acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration.” The other significant condition that contributed to her death was “pediatric community-acquired pneumonia high risk with hypoxia.”
The two babies both died at 2:20 p.m. at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center last Nov. 11.
Berame said that pentavalent vaccine has no history of serious side effects, which include fever and redness around the injected area.
“I think the parents did not tell the truth probably because we do not give vaccines to children who have a fever or who are not feeling well because the vaccine is expensive at P4,000 per shot,” Berame said in Cebuano.
Yesterday, Ariel Igoy, Limpangog’s grandfather, filed a complaint before the Department of Health (DOH) 7.
Ariel wants the DOH to investigate the two deaths so these won’t happen to other children in their area.
Whatever the result of the investigation, Ariel said, they will not file a case against the persons involved. He just wants to know what happened.
“I just want the procedure to be corrected because another child might fall victim,” Ariel said in Cebuano.
Gian Millicent Igoy, 20, Limpangog’s mother, said that her son might have received an overdose because he was given one vial of pentavalent.
Limpangog, who used the last name of his father, was the second and youngest child of Gian. Gian has a three-year-old daughter.
The Igoys wants a certified doctor or medical practitioner to vaccinate children in the future.
Lynlyn Suson, mother of Ayesha Mae, also believes that the PCV killed her daughter.
Lynlyn said they are willing to file a case against the person responsible.
Pajac Barangay Captain Jimmy Ylanan, for his part, said that the person who vaccinated the children is an experienced midwife employed by the City Health Office.
Ylanan also said the vaccines were not expired.
Mayor Paz Radaza said that she will ask the city attorney to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, the DOH 7, in a text message to SunStar Cebu, said that based on the diagnosis provided by the hospital where the two babies died, the symptoms they suffered are not side effects of the vaccines they received.
So it’s still inconclusive to attribute their deaths to the vaccines, said DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas.
He has ordered the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit to investigate the incidents.
Pentavalent vaccine is a combination of five vaccines intended to protect people from five potentially fatal diseases namely haemophilus influenza type B, which causes meningitis, pneumonia and otitis; whooping cough; tetanus; hepatitis B; and diphtheria.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 15, 2017.
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