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Former health secretaries accuse one another on Dengvaxia controversy

Former Health Secretaries Enrique Ona and Janette Garin

Tension brews between former Health Secretaries Enrique Ona and Janette Garin on the issue of the implementation and procurement of the anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia.

During Monday’s Senate hearing on the Dengvaxia controversy, Garin denied Ona’s earlier statement that he was never approached regarding the anti-dengue vaccine.

Garin insisted that, during her time as DOH undersecretary, she was called by Ona to attend the meetings in the Office of the Secretary in order to look on the the presentation of Sanofi Pasteur regarding Dengvaxia.

The alleged meetings happened twice on July 2014.

Garin further added that Ona, then health secretary, was pleased with the presentation of Sanofi Pasteur.

“Ang nag-dala sa akin kay Pangulong Aquino para pag-usapan ang bakuna ay si Sec. Ona himself. When he asked me to accompany him when the PCV issue was being brought about, it was initially Usec. Gaco at binitbit ako kasama ang ibang health officials.”

Earlier in the hearing, Ona said that Garin never consulted him regarding the use of Dengvaxia.

Ona further added that, during his term, Sanofi Pasteur also didn’t recommend the use of Dengvaxia and that the French pharmaceutical company only gave time projection for the said vaccine.

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