Lacson, Romualdez vaccinated vs COVID-19? DOH says no approved vaccine yet
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public Monday that no vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been approved yet, following reports that Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez got vaccinated to fight off the virus.
In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire was asked about the news that broke out over the weekend that Lacson and Romualdez were already vaccinated against COVID-19.
The health undersecretary said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve a vaccine against the virus.
“Gusto nating sabihin sa ating mga kababayan, wala pa pong aprubadong bakuna na pwedeng gamitin dito sa ating bansa para dito sa COVID-19. Kaya pinapaalalahanan natin lahat ng ating kababayan, until there is this registered vaccine from FDA, doon tayo dapat magkaroon ng pag-access nito,” Vergeire said.
(We want to tell the public that there are no approved vaccines yet that can be used in the country against COVID-19. We are reminding everyone that we can only access these vaccines once they secure registration from the FDA.)
“Sa ngayon, hanggang wala pa tayong registered na vaccine sa FDA, dapat maging maingat ang ating mga kababayan,” she added.
(Right now, until we have no registered vaccines yet from the FDA, we should be careful.)
Vergeire underscored the importance of getting the approval first from the government’s regulation agency to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine will be safe and effective.
“Naiintindihan namin na talagang sabik tayo na magkaroon na tayo, na ma-receive natin itong vaccine na ito dahil sa takot, dahil sa gusto na nating matapos itong nangyayari sa ating sitwasyon ngayon, but this is not the right way to go,” Vergeire said.
(We understand that everyone is excited for us to have vaccine because we are afraid, we want this situation to end, but this is not the right way to go.)
“Mag ingat tayo, at tayo ay kukuha lang ng bakunang ito, maga-access lang kapag mayroon ng registered o di kaya kapag nagsimula na ang clinical trials natin,” she added.
(We should be careful and we should only get access of these vaccines once they are registered or once clinical trials begin.)
Likewise, Vergeire reminded manufacturers and suppliers that there are existing laws in the country that prohibit the distribution and sale of technology, such as vaccines, that have yet to secure the approval of the FDA.
“Mayroong mga kaukulang sanctions itong mga nagbibigay ng mga ganito na walang rehistro,” Vergeire said.
(We have sanctions for those distributing these without registration.)
In an interview over radio station DWIZ on Saturday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III bared that Lacson and Romauldez have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Meron ngang ganun eh. Si Senator Lacson ang tapang, immunized na ‘yan eh. Nagpa-injection na ‘yun eh,” Sotto answered.
(There are people who are like that, Senator Lacson is tough, he’s already immunized. He already got vaccinated.)
“Nauna na ‘yun, matapang ‘yun eh, tsaka si Martin Romualdez,” Sotto added.
(He already got it first, also Martin Romualdez.)
Meanwhile, Lacson hinted that the “vaccination” was just a joke made at the Senate lounge.
“Pag tinanggi ko, lalabas na sinungaling si SP (Senate President). Pero alam mo kaming mga senador, ‘pag nasa lounge kami, lalo na kung stressed out kami, lalo mahigit isang linggo kami sa budget, wala kaming ginawa kundi magbiruan nang [mag]biruan,” he said in an interview with dzBB.
(If I will deny it, it will seem like the SP is lying. But you know us senators, especially when we are stressed out and now that we have been discussing the budget for one week, we also tell jokes.)
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