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House minority bloc backs Garin over Dengavaxia charges

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House Minority bloc on Wednesday expressed full support for embattled Senior Deputy Minority Leader Janette Garin following her recent indictment over the implementation of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine.

Minority Floor Leader Bienvenido Abante said the members House Minority “are confident that the courts will heed the science and let justice prevail” in the newest case filed against Garin, a former Health secretary during the previous Aquino administration.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently found probable cause to indict Garin and other health officials in connection with the deaths of schoolchildren that were vaccinated with the Dengvaxia vaccine.

Abante stressed, however, that recent rulings in previous cases filed against the Iloilo representative have established that the former Health chief “could not be held liable for her role in the use of the drug in government vaccination programs.”

“We are encouraged by the fact that the courts have dismissed prior cases involving the Dengvaxia vaccine for lack of basis, apparently putting weight on scientific findings that dispute assertions that this anti-Dengue vaccine directly contributed to the unfortunate deaths of recipients of the vaccine,” said Abante.

Abante expressed concerns that the cases against Garin would erode public confidence in the efficacy of vaccines.

“With the reemergence of diseases like polio and measles, and the outbreak of new ones like COVID-19, we need to take steps to re-instill confidence in vaccines and vaccination programs, as these are critical components in our public health campaigns,” he added.

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