FDA: No authorized anti-COVID drug yet; to crack down on illegal vaccines
MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday vowed that it will go after distributors of “illegal and unregistered” COVID-19 vaccines as the agency clarified that it has not authorized any drug yet.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte in his address on Saturday, claimed that many people in the Philippines have already received the COVID-19 vaccine of China’s Sinopharm, even as regulators have yet to approve any vaccine for use.
The President also bared that some members of the military also received the vaccine.
FDA director-general Eric Domingo, in an interview with CNN Philippines’ “The Source,” said that it was a “personal choice” if people chose to be inoculated with an unregistered vaccine.
“There’s nothing we can do about it, it’s a personal choice. But it is illegal to import an unregistered drug, to distribute it, and for a doctor or a medical practitioner or any health personnel to administer unlicensed drugs in the country,” he said.
“So if we do catch any of then and we will be filing cases against them,” he added.
Domingo also confirmed that the FDA has been receiving reports of Filipinos being administered with a COVID-19 vaccine from China.
“We’ve heard of these reports too, and we even get reports of people peddling them online and we’ve had several operations in this effect,” he said.
“We’ve had inspections in clinics in Makati, in Binondo, and in Manila. and so far, we have not had any and we haven’t seen any vaccinations going on,” the FDA chief added.
“We have no idea what these are or even if these are legitimate or genuine products,” he then said of the reported vaccines. “Because there’s no authorized vaccine for COVID-19 here in the Philippines that has been given authorization by the FDA.”
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