Garin: Indictment of DOH officials may affect public perception of immunization program
MANILA, Philippines — The decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to indict executives involved in the Dengvaxia mess may affect the public’s perception of the vaccination program of the Department of Health (DOH), former Health Secretary Janette Garin warned on Friday.
“We respect the decision of the Investigation Panel. I am more concerned with the impact of the decision on the already suffering DOH immunization program,” Garin said in a statement.
“People might think again that there is something wrong with the vaccine which is not true,” Garin added.
Garin was referring to the DOJ’s indictment against her and other personalities for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide for the deaths of school children related to the Dengvaxia controversy.
Meanwhile, Garin urged doctors to overcome the issues spawned by vaccines being “demonized” and “politicized” amid the Dengvaxia controversy.
“We congratulate the anti-vaccine groups. May our doctors overcome this challenging time where life-saving vaccines are demonized and being used as a tool for politicking,” Garin said.
Incumbent Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged mandatory immunization of children amid the measles outbreak in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), and Central and Western Visayas.
Duque said he hopes the public will see the effect of avoiding vaccination, and parents would have their children vaccinated not only to protect them from diseases but also to improve a community’s collective immunity. /ee
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