DOH REGIONAL CHIEF APOLOGIZES TO SCORES OF DENGVAXIA VACCINEES
CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – A top regional official of the Department of Health (DOH) Calabarzon expressed on Friday what seems to be the first public apology to some 500 Dengvaxia patients in Laguna, who are still reeling from the effects of the vaccination fiasco, during the “Mental Health Fair for Dengvaxia Vaccinees.”
Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo, regional director of the DOH Calabarzon, described the effects of the Dengvaxia vaccination scare and hysteria in the region as widespread, even as other parents and their children vaccinees have continued to seek the health department’s various health services.
“Unang-una, nahihiya akong humarap sa inyo, kasi may kabulastugan at hindi tamang ginawa ang Department of Health, sa inyo. Alam ninyo yon, isang bagay na hindi dapat mangyari kung pinag-isipang maigi. Kaya ang naghihirap ngayon ay kayo, lalo na ang mga magulang (First of all, I am embarrassed to meet with you because the DOH then has committed a blunder and mishandling. You are aware that it was one thing that should not have happened if it was well-thought out. That’s why you are suffering now, especially your parents),” Janairo said.
The DOH regional office, in partnership with the provincial and city health offices, assured hundreds of Dengvaxia vaccinated school children and their parents, who gathered at the LLC Auditorium, Central II Elementary School in this city, of the DOH's continuing physical, psycho-social interventions and various mental health services.
“Malaki talaga ang epekto sa ginawa ng DOH nung panahon ni Secretary Garin. Ang gagawin talaga natin ngayon ay bantayan sila, palalakasin ang pangangatawan at kung maari lahat ma-assist lalo na sa mental health services para maibsan ang mga pag-iisip nila na maaring maglubog sa kanilang kabuhayan (The effect is really big after the DOH vaccination program during the time of Secretary (Janet) Garin. We really have to monitor them, strengthen their immune system and if possible exhaust all efforts to assist them especially in mental health services to ease their anxiety and depression which could affect their livelihood),” Janairo said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.
He disclosed that Calabarzon Region has around 172,000 vaccinees and 45 have died although the death toll could not be conclusively attributed to the Dengvaxia vaccine as health probe continues since there may be other causes of the victim’s death.
He said the DOH regional office has undertaken measures to boost the vaccinees’ immune system as they need nourishment and the distribution of the Dengvaxia (DV) pack consisting of multivitamins, ascorbic acid, oresol, paracetamol, olyset net, quitikill, thermometer, soap, mosquito repellant, urinal and the information booklet.
He reported that burial assistance has been extended to around eight patients although one victim has yet to receive the said assistance, pending submission of the original documentary requirements and the support of the Local Government Units. (PNA)