Duque says PSG wrong to vaccinate themselves, notes danger to their health
MANILA, Philippines — Noting its possible danger to their health, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday it was wrong for some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to inoculate themselves with a COVID-19 vaccine that is unauthorized by local regulators.
“Yeah, first and foremost, it’s dangerous to do that. I just want to be emphatic about it. You don’t know, is this the real vaccine?” Duque said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel when asked if he considers the PSG’s move to inoculate themselves wrong. The PSG is the security detail of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The fact that it didn’t go through the regulatory, scientific evaluation by the government agencies such as the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], DOST [Department of Science and Technology] vaccine experts panel? It’s the danger that it might bring to those who received the vaccines is our utmost concern,” Duque added.
PSG Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III earlier said that some of the President’s close-in security detail administered the COVID-19 vaccine among themselves.
No COVID-19 vaccine has so far been approved for official use in the country by the Philippines’ FDA.
But Malacañang defended the PSG’s self-vaccination using unauthorized vaccines, saying they were only fulfilling their mandate to protect the President.
The President himself likewise justified the PSG’s move, saying it was a “matter of self-preservation.”
“Let’s wait for the investigating bodies to give the results of their effort to ferret out the truth. But again, I never knew about the activities of the PSG with regard to the alleged self-vaccination or vaccinating each other,” Duque said.
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