According to Duque, he is continuously being dragged into the controversy by some individuals when he is the one who suspended the program immediately after Sanofi Pasteur reported the possible harmful effects of the vaccine in November 2017.
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Duque hits back at ‘lying’ Dengvaxia critics
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - November 18, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has cried foul over the “lies and falsehood” that are continuously being circulated by critics of Dengvaxia vaccine, saying he was the one who ordered the program stopped.  

According to Duque, he is continuously being dragged into the controversy by some individuals when he is the one who suspended the program immediately after Sanofi Pasteur reported the possible harmful effects of the vaccine in November 2017.

“The story of Dengvaxia is simple and it can be told in one sentence. Garin started, initiated the Dengvaxia implementation but it was extended and expanded by Ubial to the community and Duque stopped it. That’s all,” he said in an interview the other day, referring to former health secretaries Janette Garin and Paulyn Ubial.

Despite this, however, some critics of Dengvaxia continue to blame him for the fiasco.

On the other hand, the critics have been sparing Ubial and even former health chief Enrique Ona under whose term the actual clinical trials for the vaccine were conducted. 

“This is very malicious. They are spreading lies and falsehood. I stopped it unconditionally, absolutely right as soon as there was a report by Sanofi of possible severe dengue happening in the zero negative vaccinees,” he noted.

Duque made the statement in reaction to the two more criminal cases filed against him, Garin and 37 other individuals in connection to the death of school children given the vaccine. 

The health chief added that he even successfully gotten back the P1.16 billion that the Department of Health (DOH) paid to Sanofi for unused vaccines.  

He assured the people that once the budget is released, they will use it for the “surveillance and care of” those who received the vaccine.

“We even revoked the CPR (Certificate of Product Registration) of Dengvaxia. So when all other nations were continuously giving it, we stopped it,” he maintained.  

Ubial the other day refuted the criminal charges filed against her by her predecessor, former secretary Garin, before the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the deaths of school children inoculated with the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

In the counter-affidavit submitted by her lawyer, Ubial asked investigating Assistant State Prosecutor Claire Eufracia Pagayanan to dismiss outright Garin’s charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide against her for lack of basis.

Ubial branded as “false and unfounded” the accusation of Garin that she should be held criminally liable for deciding to shift the dengue immunization program from being school-based to community-based, contributing to alleged reported deaths among immunized children.

She stressed that Garin “merely surmises that the implementation of the Community-Based Dengue Immunization Program ‘may have’ contributed to ‘alleged reported deaths’.”

Ubial said the complaint “does not allege, much less prove through any piece of evidence, the factual circumstances surrounding said alleged deaths. To repeat, probable cause demands more than bare suspicion and must rest on competent relevant evidence.”

“Thus, even assuming that the alleged reported deaths occurred, the Complaint-Affidavit should nevertheless be dismissed outright because it fails to establish the said deaths were caused by Dengvaxia administered during the Community-Based Dengue Immunization Program,” she stressed in her answer.

Ubial also refuted the claim of Garin that the community-based dengue immunization program was contrary to the World Health Organization recommendations that immunization programs should be school-based.– With Edu Punay

DENGVAXIA FRANCISCO DUQUE III WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
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