Rights lawyer blames PAO chief for vaccination scare
MANILA, Philippines – Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said on Thursday that Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta and other people who supposedly contributed to the vaccination scare and the measles outbreak in some parts of the country should be held accountable.
“Persida Acosta and the others who are riding on the Dengvaxia issue should step down from their high chairs and accept responsibility for destroying public confidence in vaccination,” Diokno said in a message to INQUIRER.net.
“Malinaw na ang outbreak ng measles o tigdas sa Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, NCR, at Bicol Region ay direktang resulta ng patuloy na pananakot ng ilan sa pamahalaan pagdating sa pagbabakuna [….] Dapat may managot sa trahedyang ito na maaari naman pala nating maiwasan,” he explained.
(It is clear that the measles outbreak in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, NCR and Bicol Region is a direct result of scare tactics on vaccination employed by some people in government. Someone should be held liable for this tragedy.)
“After making so much noise and causing so much hysteria, they cannot just wash their hands and say they had nothing to do with the drastic drop in vaccination confidence from 93% to a measly 32%, measles rise by 350 percent and rubella by over 1000 percent,” Diokno explained.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila, after 196 cases were reported from January 1 to 19, of this year.
The outbreak declaration was expanded to other regions in Luzon and Central Visayas.
At least 55 children have already died, according to previous reports.
In comparison, only 20 cases in Metro Manila were reported in the same period last year.
DOH has attributed the spike in measles cases to low vaccination rate. /gsg
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