‘Sila ang unahin,’ says Sotto on possible use of unregistered Covid-19 vaccines
MANILA, Philippines — Those authorizing the entry and use of unregistered Covid-19 vaccines must get the first shots, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Tuesday.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo himself said earlier the Philippines might receive unregistered coronavirus vaccines donated by China as long it would be used under the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH).
“Pero desisyon po nila (DOH) iyon kung tatanggapin po nila at gagamitin nila (But it’s up to them if they would accept and use it),” Domingo was quoted as saying.
The issue was brought up and discussed by senators during Tuesday’s session.
“Another suggestion, Senator (Francis) Tolentino, is the vaccine that they are authorizing to be used even without their official authority be used on them first,” Sotto, who was presiding over the session, interjected.
“Sila ang unahin yung nag-import at saka yung nagsasabi na pwede na,” the Senate leader added.
(Give it first to the importers and those allowing [the use of unregistered vaccines.)
Before this, Tolentino suggested the issuance of a Compassionate Special Permit for Covid-19 vaccines to be used for health workers.
“There’s another way for FDA to do this. Rather than issuing an emergency use authorization (EUA), they can issue a compassionate special permit, Mr. President,” he said.
“A compassionate special permit is allowed for unregistered Covid-19 vaccines and it can be distributed anywhere in the Philippines even without an EUA,” the senator added.
These proposals came about after Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto raised concerns about the safety of health workers and other frontliners who would be inoculated with unregistered vaccines.
Recto stressed the health workers deserve the “most effective and safest vaccine” available in the market. This way, he said, more Filipinos would be encouraged to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.