Ubial on anti-dengue vaccine drive: I wanted to stop it, but was warned | Inquirer News

Ubial on anti-dengue vaccine drive: I wanted to stop it, but was warned

/ 03:27 PM December 11, 2017

Former Health Secretary Paulyn Rosell-Ubial said some lawmakers has warned that she could go to jail if she would stop the implementation of the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccination program during her term.

“It is very difficult for me to implement this, I want to stop that, but people in Congress said I will go to jail if we stop it because there’s already a contract,” Ubial said during the joint hearing of the Senate blue ribbon, health, and finance committees on Monday.


“I had no choice but to implement it at the time, but I’m glad (I) flip-flopped on the issue, and delayed the implementation of the program,” she added.

The former health chief said she had been objecting to the project since March 2016, when she was just assistant secretary at the Department of Health (DOH).


“If you mix politics and health, it’s really a disaster,” she said.

“I love the DOH but what I will say may seem that I will destroy it but I will say it anyway,” she added.

Ubial cited four reasons behind her stance: 1) The pilot study of the new vaccine involved only 30 to 40 thousand subjects, why would you risk to give it to almost 1 million children?; 2) Vaccines should not be implemented during election year because it could be taken as a hidden agenda; 3) There should be introduction to the private sector first before it is given to government health program, because in the private sector there is 1-on-1 intervention and monitoring is easier; and 4) Social preparation is also needed for the roll out of this vaccine

The former health secretary also said that it should take one to two years of preparation before the government could fully implement the massive vaccination.

Earlier, Senator Richard Gordon, chair of the blue ribbon committee, said he sees “conspiracy” in the government’s procurement of the vaccine from French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur.

READ:Gordon sees possible ‘conspiracy’ on ‘speed’ in anti-dengue vaccine purchase

The senator also alleged that the regions where the Dengvaxia was administered were some of the areas with high number of voters.

Gordon said the vaccine was rolled out in Region III, National Capital Region, and Region IV-A.                     /kga

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: anti-dengue, dengue, Dengvaxia, DoH, Health, Sanofi Pasteur, Secretary Paulyn Ubial
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.