Underlying conditions  Death  Pentavalent  BCG (TB)

Other illness, not the vaccines, causes boy's death

Thursday, September 13, 2012

THE regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) said the one-year-old boy who died after receiving two shots of vaccines last week could be a case called the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Sids).

Dr. Abdullah B. Dumama Jr., DOH regional director, said in an interview at his office Wednesday that they cannot rule out the possibility that the boy, identified as Khean Mark M. Boco, has other health condition that caused his instantaneous death.

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But he said they are still waiting for the result of the microscopic autopsy being conducted by the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

Dumama said Sids is a sudden and unexplained death of an infant below one-year-old who appears to be normal and fit.

"Apparently, well 'yung bata (kid), feeding very well, hindi (not) irritable, suddenly namatay (died)," Dumama said.

He said the Health department still cannot link the administration of vaccines to the kid's death.

Dumama said he is convinced that the vaccines have nothing to do with the kid's death.

The issue stemmed from a complaint filed by the parents of the boy, who claimed that their son's death was due to the vaccines injected on him.

Maridelma S. Madanlo-Boco, mother of the boy, of Lower Madapo, Barangay 8-A in Davao City, said her son was in good condition before he was vaccinated.

On September 5, barangay health workers (BHW) from Barangay 8-A administered pentavalent vaccine (five in one vaccine) injected intra muscularly or directly into the muscle and BCG vaccine that was administered intra-dermally.

The boy also took an Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).

A study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that smoking parents, especially the mother, increases the rate of the child to suffer from Sids up to five times than those children whose parents are non-smokers.

"Almost 50 studies have examined this relationship and all indicate an increased risk. Since reduction in the prevalence of prone sleeping position, eight studies have examined smoking and Sids," a report from WHO in 1999 read.

In the Philippines, Dumama said there still no specific study about Sids and its prevalence rate.

But Dumama said Sids is a very rare child disease often manifested by most child death in the country.

"The child's death could be due to other underlying diseases and not because of the vaccine," he said.

Pentavalent vaccine, which is manufactured by Panacea Biotec, contains the vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whole cell pertussis, hepatitis B and h-influenzae type b components, and two other vaccines -- a DTwP-hepatitis B vaccine and a monovalent hepatitis B vaccine while BCG is a vaccine against tuberculosis.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 14, 2012.