MANILA - Former Health Secretary Janette Garin said Tuesday she was ready to face criminal complaints lodged against her over a scrapped dengue vaccination campaign.
Garin, who implemented the immunization drive using French drug-maker Sanofi Pasteur's Dengvaxia, is facing complaints for graft, mass murder, plunder, and violation of election laws.
Sanofi said late last year that if given to those who have not had the mosquito-borne before, Dengvaxia might cause more severe symptoms.
"I’m ready to face all charges because my conscience is clear - the desire to be with the Department of Health, to be with the medical society in saving lives was our primary consideration because vaccine still saves lives and dengue has no cure," she told ANC's Headstart.
"I’m really looking forward to facing all these charges in court because I am sure that at the end of the day, I will be vindicated, the DOH officials will be vindicated because we did something that will save 90 percent of Filipino children," she said.
Garin, who was "mobbed" by parents whose children were vaccinated with the drug after the House hearing on Monday, pleaded for sobriety, saying "hysteria and panic prevailed."
The government spent P3.5 billion to purchase Dengvaxia for one million public school children in regions reported to have the highest incidence of dengue in 2015.
The vaccine had been given to about 830,000 children in Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, Central Luzon and Central Visayas.