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Garin ready to face probe, consequences of Dengvaxia mess

Former Health Secretary Janette Garin said she'd be ready to suffer the consequences should there be any as regards her role in the implementation of the government's dengue vaccination program.

Garin said she would be ready to face investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Senate after the vaccine's manufacturer warned that it should not be given to anyone who had not contracted dengue before.

She said the program started before she became health secretary during the Aquino administration.

"I will answer all questions at the right time, in the appropriate forum. 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.

"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," she added.

"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," Garin said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday to investigate the P3.5-billion dengue vaccination program of the Department of Health (DOH) that put the lives of more than 733,000 public school children at risk.

Aguirre issued Department Order No. 763, tasking the NBI to investigate and build a case against those responsible for supposedly placing public health in danger.

The dengue vaccination program began during the term of then-Health Secretary Janette Garin in April 2016.

"Tama ba ang pag-order kaagad ng ganito karaming vaccine na worth P3.5 billion? Na naturukan agad ang 733,000 children, tama ba ito, kahit apat buwan pa lang nama-manufacture ito?" Aguirre said at a press conference.

In a tweet over the weekend, Senator JV Ejercito said the Senate Blue Ribbon and Health Committees must probe the DOH's procurement of the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia.

"That should be investigated by Blue Ribbon Committee as primary, with Committee on Health as secondary committee since it’s about corruption and accountability," Ejercito said. —NB, GMA News

Tags: janetgarin, doh