2 ba­bies die; par­ents blame vac­cines

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - Rowena D. Capis­trano, Cor­re­spon­dent May B. Mi­asco, Staff Mem­ber

Two in­fants in Barangay Pa­jac, La­puLapu City died three days ago and their fam­i­lies are blam­ing the pen­tava­lent vac­cines ad­min­is­tered to the ba­bies at the barangay health cen­ter as the cause of death.

The death cer­tifi­cates, how­ever, say oth­er­wise. The cer­tifi­cates say Ghir­vaughn Mcreign Lim­pan­gog died from menin­gi­tis while Aye­sha Mae Su­son suc­cumbed to de­hy­dra­tion.

Ghir­vaughn was four months old while Aye­sha was three months old.

Lapu-Lapu City health of­fi­cer, Dr. Rodolfo Ber­ame, said the health of­fice, which su­per­vises barangay health cen­ters, will co­op­er­ate in any in­ves­ti­ga­tion that may be con­ducted.

COM­PLAINTS

The par­ents of the chil­dren said the ba­bies’ con­di­tions re­port­edly wors­ened af­ter they re­ceived the shots on Novem­ber 8. They both died three days later on Novem­ber 11.

Ghir­vaughn's mother, Gian, said she no­ticed her baby re­port­edly weak­en­ing and hav­ing a fever when they ar­rived home from the health cen­ter.

She thought these were side ef­fects to the vac­cine but her son's tem­per­a­ture re­mained high de­spite medicine and hot com­press. Half of his body also re­port­edly stiff­ened and she be­lieved he was suf­fer­ing from pain as he would no longer smile.

They brought him first to a hospi­tal in Lapu-Lapu City but the child was re­ferred to a hospi­tal in Cebu City since his con­di­tion was un­sta­ble and he was re­port­edly al­ready “brain dead.”

Gian sus­pects the vac­cine ad­min­is­tered to the baby may have al­ready ex­pired or that the health of­fi­cer gave more than the dosage needed.

Like Ghir­vaughn, Aye­sha also re­port­edly started hav­ing fever af­ter get­ting the vac­cine, said her mother, Lenlen.

Like Gian, Lenlen thought the fever was a side ef­fect of the vac­cine but evening on Novem­ber 8, Aye­sha

re­port­edly started vom­it­ing and was suf­fer­ing from di­ar­rhea.

They then brought the baby to a hospi­tal in La­puLapu City where doc­tors told them the child was also suf­fer­ing from cough. Like Ghir­vaughn, Aye­sha was later re­ferred to the same hospi­tal in Cebu City and it was there where they both died. It was also in the hospi­tal in Cebu City where the two moth­ers met.

DE­FENSE

Speak­ing with The FREE­MAN yes­ter­day, Ber­ame said the pen­tava­lent vac­cine could not have caused the death of the ba­bies as shown in the death cer­tifi­cates.

Ber­ame said Aye­sha, for one, may have al­ready been suf­fer­ing from di­ar­rhea even be­fore the vac­cine was ad­min­is­tered.

He said the vac­cine will ex­pire on June 30, 2018 yet. In fact, al­most 90 chil­dren were im­mu­nized on Novem­ber 8. The vac­cines are given to chil­dren to pro­tect them from diseases.

Ber­ame said health per­son­nel usu­ally hold a pre­con­fer­ence with the par­ents or guardians to ori­ent them about the im­mu­niza­tion pro­gram. A post-con­fer­ence is also un­der­taken to in­form them on what needs to be done af­ter the vac­cines are ad­min­is­tered.

DOH-7 med­i­cal of­fi­cer, Dr. Shel­bay Blanco, clus­ter head of the Re­gional Epi­demi­ol­ogy and Sur­veil­lance Unit, said no such of­fi­cial re­port has reached their of­fice as of yes­ter­day.

The Free­man re­porter Mitzi Am­brad cap­tures a pic­turesque sun­set in the north­ern town of Medellin, Cebu. ALDO

NELBERT BANAYNAL

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