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Dick tells Aquino, Garin: Don’t blame ex-DOH chief Ona for Sanofi vaccine mess

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It’s unfair to blame former Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Enrique Ona for the dengue vaccine mess.

Sen. Dick Gordon said former President Noy Aquino and former Health Sec. Janette Garin should not have passed the buck to Ona in their testimonies during Thursday’s hearing on the defective vaccines. Both Aquino and Garin said it was Ona who lobbied for the vaccineas early as 2010.

“I think it’s rather unfair for everybody to be blaming Ona, from (former) Pres. Aquino to Garin because Ona has no signature in any of the documents,” Gordon said.

“It wasn’t Ona who went out to China or Paris later and it wasn’t Ona who went to Paris for a special meeting and started practically negotiating saying that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) can now approve applications within a year or within 500 days. So you can see that there was an attempt to justify what happened,” he said.

While the need for the dengue vaccine was brought up during the time of Ona in the DOH, the immunization program materialized during the incumbency of Garin, Gordon said.