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DOH debunks reports saying vaccines caused deaths

Dr. David Mendoza, chief of DOH-10's Local Health Support Division, claims that the four family members who died in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental died as a result of COVID-19 infection and not by the vaccination. (JAKA/PIA-10)

MISAMIS ORIENTAL (PIA)—The Department of Health in Region 10 (DOH-10) on Saturday denied a netizen’s report that four persons in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental died due to vaccination.

Dr. David Mendoza, chief of DOH-10’s Local Health Support Division, made the clarification during Regional Inter-Agency Task Force press briefing, August 21, in response to a Facebook post of Perly Mugot claiming that four of her family members died after getting their jabs.    

“It’s wrong. The four death cases, which include the index case and 10 other members of the household, tested positive of COVID-19 as confirmed through RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-Polymerase chain reaction) test,” Mendoza said.

The DOH’s Center for Health Development, he said, conducted immediately a case investigation following Mugot’s post that went viral. Likewise, the DOH-Regional Adverse Effect Following Immunization (AEFI) Committee met for a ‘Causality discourse’ relying on the case-tracking reports.

Based on the contact tracers' detailed narratives, Mendoza disclosed that the four death cases were inconsistent with causal association to immunization. He said there were coincidental underlying or emerging conditions caused by exposure to something other than vaccine—independent of vaccination—where expert panels unanimously concurred on the presence of COVID-19 community transmission and that there were higher risks for the victims being exposed to the virus or have been incubating the virus.

This would mean that the coronavirus have been incubating within them before their vaccination.

Dr. Jasper Kent Ola, chief of the Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU) shared that the investigation report showed that the four death cases displayed signs and symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. It has also been traced that one of them (death cases) attended a wake in Patag, Cagayan de Oro City where she was exposed to a confirmed COVID-positive person.

Ola further said that the family members also had a birthday celebration prior to the vaccination.

“At the time of their immunization, these individuals are simultaneously incubating the COVID-19 virus within them. Also, during immunization on July 26, our index case—one of the four COVID victims—was deferred due to feverish symptoms. On the next day, however, she returned to the vaccination center saying she belongs to another priority group. She logged as A3. It was then that she (the index case) was vaccinated,” Ola added.

With this, the health experts emphasized the importance of disclosing any symptoms that vaccinees may or may not be experiencing before inoculation so that the doctors in the assessment area can recommend whether or not to defer a person for the vaccination.

Ola said the DOH is using vaccines that are both safe and effective. He said DOH-10 data also revealed that there is still no evidence of a casualty.

DOH keeps reminding the public to adhere to the minimum public health standards and should not lower its guards regardless of their vaccination status.  (JAKA/PIA-10)

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Jan Albert Araña

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Region 10

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