MANILA – Former Health Secretary Janette Garin on Monday claimed Senator Richard Gordon was “misinformed” by her detractors on a P3.5 billion dengue vaccination program that was scrapped due to safety concerns.
Garin was cited by a draft report of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee led by Gordon as among officials who should be charged for implementing the program with “undue haste.”
“He was misinformed by a lot of people who were not happy when I came in the Department of Health because I stopped a lot of corruption. I rescinded contracts which are disadvantageous to the public,” she told ANC Headstart.
Aside from Garin, the committee draft also recommended charges against former President Benigno Aquino III and former Budget Secretary Butch Abad.
Garin said the program was not rushed as talks about a dengue vaccine started in the time of her predecessor, Enrique Ona, and ended in the time of her successor Paulyn Ubial.
Some 830,000 schoolchildren were vaccinated under the program before drug maker Sanofi Pasteur admitted late last year that Dengvaxia may cause severe dengue when administered to patients who have not contracted the mosquito-borne disease before.
The government has since suspended its dengue vaccination program, but several parents claimed that their children died due to complications from the vaccine. These claims, however, have yet to be proven.