Gordon: Dengvaxia scam trail known | Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Rosales, A. (2018, February 05). Gordon: Dengvaxia scam trail known. Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor. Retrieved February 05, 2018 from http://www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/gordon-dengvaxia-scam-trail-known

Gordon: Dengvaxia scam trail known
Written by  Angie M. Rosales – Monday, 05 February 2018


A paper trail that will prove undue haste in the acquisition of the P3.5-billion anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia had been uncovered recently, Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, said yesterday as he bared that documents concerning the purchase of the vaccine from French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur Inc. were allegedly withheld by some Department of Health (DoH) personnel.

“There were some individuals who were hiding the documents that we have seen, they are personnel in the DOH who did not want to expose the shortcomings of Sanofi,” the senator said in a radio interview.

“It appeared that the required papers from Sanofi were incomplete yet it was allowed to market the vaccine to the public. They were giving protection. Now they are trying to clean it up,” Gordon said.

The senator who is leading the blue ribbon probe on the Dengvaxia mess said those who may be found liable in the acquisition of the vaccines could be held accountable for graft or even reckless imprudence resulting to homicide, if it will be proven that the administering of the anti-dengue vaccine resulted in death.

Officials were possibly involved, Gordon said, adding that it will tend to show how the marketing of the vaccine was supposedly expedited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“It will show how deep was the network of (then DOH Sec. Janette) Garin, that she even has a hold on the FDA for the agency to release a permit even if the tests were not completed as phase three of the tests was not finished,” he said.

The senator was referring to the stage in which studies will show whether the said vaccine is indeed safe and has no side effects to those who will be given the dosage.

“When they were undertaking phase three (of the tests), the vaccination of the children had started. This is a major case. The research we did was exhaustive. We did not stop in the research,” he said.

Asked on personalities likely to be held liable, Gordon said it will be from the level of then President Aquino, former budget secretary Florencio Abad down to officials in the DOH.

The senator said he will disclose the details of the documents the panel obtained when hearing resumes on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

No conclusion yet on cause of deaths

Although there had been reports from the University of the Philippines –Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) study showing that three out of 14 children who died after receiving the vaccine, Gordon has yet to be swayed saying that there’s no official findings yet on Dengvaxia being the cause of the children’s deaths.

“Regarding Dengavaxia as the cause of death, we still have no proof. We will know about it and eventually it may be established as reckless imprudence resulting to homicide. Most likely it will to that recommendation of the committee,” he said.

Insofar as those likely to be held liable, Gordon said it can easily be deduced, based on the information they ave gathered, who should be made accountable.

“Who lighted the fuse? We should find out the role of PNoy (Pres. Aquino). Then Garin who was too fast (in facilitating its acquisition) before (then Sec. Enrique) Ona went on leave,” he said.

“And Sanofi will also be pinned. Then we’ll have to see where the crimewas hatched,” said Gordon.

In the same interview, Gordon stood opposed to the move taken by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), lodging an electioneering complaint before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against former Aquino and several other officials due to the dengue vaccine mess.

“I don’t agree necessarily with what they filed,” he said.

Gordon, chair of the panel investigating the implementation of the P3.5-billion dengue vaccine program at the height of the 2016 national elections, said the VACC should have waited for the completion of the probe and the release of the official findings before they filed charges.

“Their cause of action was that ublic money was used in the campaigns. We have not made any conclusion regarding that. We have not reached that point,” Gordon said.

While the Senate probe on the acquisition on the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine is still ongoing, the VACC and a former consultant of the Department of Health, Dr. Francis Cruz, filed a complaint before the Comelec legal department against Aquino, Abad, Garin along with several former and current government officials for alleged violation of some provisions of the Omnibus Election Code.

Allegedly, they said that the said officials should be charged for launching the dengue immunization program as this was in violation of the election ban in 2016.

They accused Aquino of supposedly using government funds to campaign for the Liberal Party (LP) during the said election period.

UP-PGH report: No deaths due to Dengvaxia

None of the deaths of the 14 children autopsied by the Public Attorney’s Office were proven to be due to Dengvaxia.

This was the result of the study and investigation of the forensic pathologists panel from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).

Given this latest findings, Doctors for Public Welfare that includes former health secretary Esperanza Cabral and vaccine expert Lulu Bravo, is now asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to stop PAO from conducting more autopsies because “it makes no sense for any more families to be subjected to the torture of having a loved one exhumed and cut up only to find out that no useful information was derived from the cruel act.”

The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), under the DOJ led the investigation, which required performing autopsies on 14 children who allegedly died after being vaccinated with Dengvaxia.

In a joint statement, the group urged “the DOJ to order the PAO to stop performing autopsies on these children and to leave the matter of determining the cause of death to competent forensic pathologists.”

According to the Doctors for Public Welfare, it now appears that only one case might be causally associated with the vaccine, that is, the one with dengue and with antibodies to dengue.

However, it has yet to be determined if the vaccine had anything to do with the death. It further noted that two of the children autopsied showed that vaccine failure may have been the cause. This means that no antibodies were produced and so they could not have suffered from an anti body enhanced reaction. This can happen when the vaccine is not stored properly and so loses its potency. It’s although the children were never vaccinated. Hence the 2 most likely died of dengue not due to the vaccine, the group explained.

These findings mean that in diagnosing all 14 autopsied children as having dengue as a complication of Dengvaxia, Dr. Erfe of the PAO was wrong in practically all of the 14. He may at the very best have been correct in only 1 of 14 of the cases, or seven percent and wrong in 13 of 14 or 93 percent.

In actuality he is probably wrong in all given that any actual causative relationship between the death of the 1 child to the vaccine is yet to be determined, the group pointed out.

Published in Headlines| The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

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