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Ex-DOH Sec. Garin on new charges over Dengvaxia vaccine: âBaselessâ
Garin, during her visit in Tacloban City on Friday, issued an statement to local reporters that the PAO is giving false hopes to the poor parents who do not fully understand the medical basis of their complaints on Dengvaxia vaccination.
The STAR/KJ Rosales

Ex-DOH Sec. Garin on new charges over Dengvaxia vaccine: “Baseless”

Miriam Garcia Desacada, Lalaine Marcos (The Freeman) - September 4, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Former Health secretary Janette Garin downplayed the new criminal complaint filed by the Public Attorneys Office (PAO), saying these new cases, including those previously filed against her, are all "baseless and not supported by an expert medical testimony."

Garin, during her visit in Tacloban City on Friday, issued an statement to local reporters that the PAO is giving false hopes to the poor parents who do not fully understand the medical basis of their complaints on Dengvaxia vaccination.

"They are being misled by PAO doctors who are neither pathologists nor experts in vaccinology," she lamented, as she hoped that PAO will “soon realize the fallacy of their actions have been causing undue hysteria and fear of vaccine” among the public.

Garin also said the flair of PAO for media exposure on its haphazard and flawed medical conclusions has seriously affected the health program of the Department of Health.

"The actions of PAO should be questioned  before the Ombudsman for causing undue prejudice to the government's health program," she said.

The latest charges filed against Garin and 36 others before the Justice Department was made after another death of an 11-year-old boy, allegedly inoculated with the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Garin and other health officials are currently facing charges for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and for violating Section 15 of Republic Act 9745, known as the Anti-Torture Law.

The other respondents are Doctors Vicente Belizario Jr., Kenneth Hartigan-Go, Gerardo Bayugo, Lydon Lee Suy, Irma Asuncion, Julius Lecciones, Joyce Ducusin, Socorro Lupisan, Maria Rosario Capeding, and Maria Lourdes Santiago, and Rosalind Vianzon, Mario Baquilod, and Melody Zamudio.

Others sued in the complaint were executives from Sanofi Pasteur Inc., manufacturer of the Dengvaxia vaccine, and Zuellig Pharma Corporation, the local distributor.

Garin and the other respondents were accused of negligence through “arbitrarily, maliciously, and deliberately failure to inform the Dengvaxia recipients and their parents/families of the dangers and risks related to Dengvaxia and to obtain their informed consent.”

PAO recent complaint alleged that the Department of Health, under Garin at the time, failed to conduct proper screening of  Dengvaxia recipients and to implement active and aggressive monitoring and surveillance to target recipients.

Manuel and Kristina Ramirez, uncle and aunt of John Paul Rafael, said the child was inoculated with Dengvaxia on the last week of March 2016 but died 11 days after due to congenital failure.

Facing with these charges, the recent of which was the 12th complaint, Garin said she has strong hopes that she can survive these, which she called "persecutions" against her. (FREEMAN)

JANETTE GARIN
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