Ex-DOH chief ready to face probe into Dengvaxia controversy

By , on December 5, 2017


Garin said that she is willing to face all the questions “at the right time, in the appropriate forum.” (Photo: Dr. Janette Loreto-Garin/Facebook)
Garin said that she is willing to face all the questions “at the right time, in the appropriate forum.” (Photo: Dr. Janette Loreto-Garin/Facebook)

The former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin on Monday said that she is ready to face any investigation and possible consequences that she may face over the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia controversy.

Garin said that she is willing to face all the questions “at the right time, in the appropriate forum,” following the order of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the P3.5-billion dengue vaccination program of the Department of Health (DOH).

[READ: As DOJ starts probe on dengue vaccine, Palace assures public: Don’t panic]

“I will also await clarity from DOH and WHO as they are the authorities on this. In the event that there will be authorities who will point culpability to me, I am ready to face the consequences,” Garin said in a text message.

Garin stressed that the vaccination program plan started before she took office, and the dengue vaccination program was implemented in accordance to the guidance and recommendations of World Health Organization (WHO).

“The dengue vaccination program plan started even before my time. We implemented it in accordance with WHO guidance and recommendations. Even before the official release of the SAGE [WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization], there were ongoing meetings and consultations between experts, WHO and DOH technical officials,” Garin said.

“We fully cooperated and consulted with WHO prior to the implementation of this program. With the desire to resolve this deadly virus, the Department started the vaccination program which has until now been seen to be strongly beneficial to 9 out of 10 Filipinos,” she added.

As of press time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur to suspend distribution, sale, and marketing of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in order to protect the general public.