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‘Perwisyo’ Acosta to critics: Don’t blame me for measles outbreak, I’m not DOH

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Chief Public Attorney Persida Rueda-Acosta on Wednesday described as “unfair” the criticisms hurled against her and the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) over the measles outbreak in Metro Manila.

“Huwag po nilang isisi sa PAO,” the official told reporters during an
interview at the Manila Hotel.

“Paano naman kami ang magiging may kasalanan sa measles problem natin ngayon, mandato ng DOH (Department of Health) na mangampanya ng mga subok na bakuna. Ang PAO, ‘di po kontra sa mga subok na bakuna. Wala po tayong ibang bakuna na pinag-uusapan kundi Dengvaxia lang ,” she added.

Acosta has been accused of grandstanding on the Dengvaxia controversy after French manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur issued a global advisory, warning the public over risks of administering the vaccine to persons with no history of the disease.

Relating this to the recently declared measles outbreak, the public was quick to drag Acosta’s name for allegedly influencing general perception about vaccination.

But whether or not the Dengvaxia mess has a direct link to the low turnout on immunization, Acosta said, “Hindi po kami ang gumawa ng scare, Sanofi po ang nagpa-press conference noong November 29, 2017 na ‘di puwede sa ‘di pa na-dengue. Nabakunahan na nila, so sino pong gumawa ng scare, PAO?”

“Hindi po kami ang nagdulot niyan, hindi po kami ang nagturok ng mass vaccination,” she also said.

The PAO has been filing cases against several former and incumbent government officials in connection with the aborted Dengvaxia program. Citing forensic exam results, the PAO said the anti-dengue vaccine resulted in the deaths of several children.

The DOH Epidemiology Bureau (DOH EB) reported that the number of measles cases in the National Capital Region already reached 196 from January 1 to 19. This is much higher than the 20 cases recorded during the same period in 2018.

In 2018, the DOH EB recorded 3,646 measles cases in the region against 351 cases in 2017. PNA

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