Presidential daughter Kitty Duterte, grandchild got Dengvaxia vaccine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — Members of the presidential family are among the 890,000 Filipinos immunized with the controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia, President Rodrigo Duterte's right-hand man said.

Special Assistant to the President Bong Go confirmed on Tuesday Duterte's 13-year-old daughter Veronica or Kitty, his granddaughter Sabina, and his daughter-in-law January got Dengvaxia shots.

He said they are still finding out if the three members of the presidential family have experienced the negative effects of the vaccine.

In late 2017, vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur announced that Dengvaxia vaccine could potentially cause severe sickness for those who never had dengue. This prompted the government to halt the nationwide immunization program, which was launched by the Aquino administration in April 2016.

Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said, as of May 15, 87 children vaccinated with Dengvaxia have died. Of this, 11 died of dengue. But he said they have yet to establish that Dengvaxia caused the death of these children.

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved the P1.16 billion supplemental budget to assist those vaccinated with Dengvaxia under the government's mass immunization program.

Duterte has also ordered the creation of an independent experts panel to look into the controversy following conflicting official reports on deaths allegedly caused by Dengvaxia.