Garin asked by child’s mother: Nakakatulog pa ba kayo?
“Nakakatulog pa ba kayo sa gabi?”
This was the question of a mother, whose child was vaccinated with Dengvaxia, to former Health Secretary Janette Garin upon meeting her on Monday at the Senate committee probe into the P3.5-billion anti-dengue vaccination controversy.
“Gusto ko pong tanungin si Secretary Garin kung nakakatulog pa ba kayo sa gabi? Kasi kami hindi na,” said Iris Alpay, who came all the way from Imus, Cavite to attend the hearing.
Alpay said her child, who was one of the more than 830,000 children who were vaccinated by Dengvaxia, is now ill.
“Ako po ay sobrang na-disappoint dahil mismong ahensya nyo ang nagpahamak sa aking anak,” she said.
But current Health Secretary Francisco Duque clarified that the symptoms being experienced by her daughter seemed to be not related to the vaccine.
“Ako po ay tumawag sa kanya nang personal nung narinig ko ang problema nya na maaaring may kinalaman daw yung vaccine. Mukhang ‘di naman ito maiuugnay sa Dengvaxia batay sa mga sintomas na sinabi nya,” Duque told the panel.
“Pero posible pa rin,” he added.
Despite this, he assured that the Department of Health (DOH) is doing its best to monitor and assess the issue.
However, Alpay stressed that the government should extend all possible help to quell their fears.
“Gusto ko rin hingin sa present DOH kung anong tulong ang pwede nyo magawa para mabawasan ang aming takot at kaba,” Alpay said.
“Ine-expect ko po na magkaroon talaga ng information campaign ang gobyerno,” she added.
Garin repeatedly tried to respond to Alpay’s statement but the Senate blue ribbon committee chaired by Senator Richard Gordon, has yet to allow her response on the matter.
Last week, the DOH suspended the administration of Dengvaxia vaccine and ordered the close observation of those who had received it after its manufacturer, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, announced that its vaccine “could lead to more severe symptoms for people who had not previously been infected” by Dengue virus.
The anti-dengue vaccination drive was launched under Garin’s watch in 2016.
Duque said the vaccine was administered to around 830,000 children in schools and communities, and to another 32,000 private patients. /cbb
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