Doctor’s death link to Dengvaxia inconclusive : PHO

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan–The Pangasinan Provincial Health Office (PHO) pleaded the public not to conclude yet that Dengvaxia is the cause of death of Dr. Kendrick Gotoc on Sunday.

Dr. Anna Teresa de Guzman, provincial health officer in an interview Wednesday, said that Dr. Gotoc’s death could not yet be blamed to Dengvaxia, as laboratory tests are still ongoing as of this writing.

“We cannot be conclusive, jumping into conclusion that Dengvaxia was the cause of his death since we are still awaiting the medical records, although his family admitted that indeed he was injected with Dengvaxia vaccine”, De Guzman said.

De Guzman visited Gotoc’s wake in Binalonan Tuesday morning to conduct an investigation surrounding his death.

She said Gotoc has notified his family that he completed the three shots of Dengvaxia vaccine in 2016, when he was serving as consultant in Quezon City’s Rural Health Unit, as ordered by the Department of Health (DOH) according to his brother Councilor Ryan Gotoc.

“His brother also said Kendrick suffered from depression as soon as he noticed rashes all over his body and his sudden decrease in body mass”, De Guzman said.

She added based from his family’s statement, Gotoc was rushed to a private hospital on Sunday as he complained difficulty of breathing, but eventually died after three hours in the emergency room.

“We are looking at it as probably cardiac arrest or an infection. We still need to establish other symptoms relating to Dengvaxia before we could conclude on the matter”, De Guzman said.

She also advised the family to “submit all necessary documents to the DOH, PHO and even to the National Bureau of Investigation if they would pursue filing a case”.

Gotoc family expressed their desire to file a case against DOH and seek help from the World Health Organization.

In Pangasinan, the PHO closely monitors 50 from the province injected with Dengvaxia vaccine.

De Guzman disclosed four of the total number have been hospitalized but are now doing well.

“All these 50 so far are in good health”, she said. Ahikam Pasion/