Garin hits Ubial for 'washing hands' over Dengvaxia mess

By Leilani Junio

April 16, 2018, 8:13 pm

MANILA -- Former Health Secretary Janette Garin on Monday slammed her successor ex-Health chief Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial for publicly 'washing her hands' over the Dengvaxia controversy during the recent Senate hearing on the dengue vaccination program.

Garin, in a media forum in Manila, claimed that Ubial was quick to say during the Senate inquiry that she was 'under pressure' to continue and expand the implementation of the immunization program.

She alleged that she was the one who took all the blame during the legislative hearing while Ubial managed to deflect all responsibilities in the program's implementation.

In her past interviews with reporters, Ubial claimed that she stopped the implementation of the program but continued it after the World Health Organization came out with a position paper on July 29, 2016, declaring Dengvaxia safe.

"How could I allow PHP1.4 billion worth of vaccine go to waste and deprive the Filipino children who cannot afford private sector vaccination?" she was quoted as saying.

Garin questioned Ubial's statement about being pressured, saying "nobody can force a DOH Secretary to implement a program if she knows it is bad."

She said Ubial could have resigned from her post during that time due to "pressure."

Prior to her appoinment as DOH chief in June 2016, Ubial was Garin's assistant secretary. (PNA)