Gordon panel misinformed on Dengvaxia, Garin says

FORMER Health secretary Janette Garin said Monday she believed Senator Richard Gordon was misled by some politicians who had exaggerated the controversy surrounding the government’s anti-dengue vaccination program.

She told reporters the Senate, particularly Gordon’s Blue Ribbon committee, would eventually be able to “decipher facts from fiction” on the government’s controversial P3.5-billion Dengvaxia deal in 2016.

Garin made her statement even as Eduardo Janairo, the Health department’s newly appointed regional director for Calabarzon, on Monday reminded the parents of Dengvaxia Vaccine Individuals to strengthen their children’s immune system through proper nutrition and food supplements.

“We still have no final conclusion as to the status of the Dengvaxia investigation currently being conducted, which is being linked to the deaths of children who were given the controversial dengue vaccine,” Janairo said.

While waiting for results, he said, the parents must do something to boost their children’s immune system by giving them immunity-boosting phytonutrients such as vitamin C, fruits and vegetables and making sure they had adequate sleep. Macon Ramos-Araneta

“Although the dengue kits distributed included vitamin supplements such as Vitamin C and multivitamins, you still need to complement it with well-balanced meals and sufficient fluid intakes like water, soup and juices,” Janairo said.

Garin said some politicians were unhappy with her decisions to rescind the contracts unfavorable to the government and and the people who were allegedly passed over in her appointment as Health secretary during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

But Garin said she did not believe the current administration was behind the moves to exaggerate the Dengvaxia controversy.

However, she said, the Duterte administration might suffer a “legacy of outbreaks” because of the Dengvaxia controversy.

The Health department had raised fears that the government’s other immunization programs might suffer because of the stigma created by the Dengvaxia controversy.

Last week, Gordon presented a draft committee report accusing Garin, Aquino and former Budget secretary Florencio Abad of graft and corruption due to the controversial vaccination program.

He said he believed his committee had strong documentary evidence against Aquino and the others for graft and corruption and violation of Republic Act 6713.

Garin had repeatedly denied anomalies in the procurement of the dengue vaccines and called the draft report one-sided and full of inaccuracies.

Topics: Janette Garin , Senator Richard Gordon , anti-dengue vaccination program , Dengvaxia , Eduardo Janairo
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