Ex-DOH chief faces more damage suits

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin, now Iloilo representative, and 38 others, including Sanofi Pasteur Inc. executives, are facing three more multi-million-peso damage suits before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in connection with the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

Parents of Rolando Malagum, Shane Lague, and Melvin Karl Elipane are seeking indemnification of P3,404,966.40, P3,355,076.45, and P3,604,040, respectively, for the deaths of their children who supposedly died due to complications arising from the vaccine inoculation.

The new damage suits were filed last Feb. 18, Feb. 11, and Dec. 5 last year.

Some 50 other indemnification cases were earlier filed between Feb. 5, 2018 and Feb. 26, 2020.

All of these cases had been raffled off to Branch 226.

The 53 plaintiffs are asking a total of P196,064,337.70 to be paid separately.

In October 2021, the Supreme Court approved a petition filed by the Public Attorney’s Office in April 2019 to transfer all Dengvaxia-related cases to a single-family court in Quezon City.

Parents of children who allegedly died after receiving the Dengvaxia vaccine filed multiple counts of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide before the lower courts and Department of Justice.

The justice department found probable cause to indict Garin, former and active health officials, for the procurement of the vaccines worth P3.5 billion and mass vaccination of school children in public schools.

In November 2017, Sanofi, in an official statement posted on its website, said “the analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection.

For those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.”

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