FDA warns vs COVID-19 vaccines-for-sale
MANILA, Philippines — Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo warned the public Tuesday against buying COVID-19 vaccines, stressing that the shots can only be accessed through the government’s vaccination program.
Domingo explained that no COVID-19 vaccine in the world has yet to secure a marketing authorization, meaning that cannot be sold to the public.
“‘Wag kayong bibili dahil walang produkto, wala pang bakuna sa buong mundo na mayroong marketing authorization o ibig sabihin na fully developed na na maaaring ibenta sa publiko,” Domingo said during the Laging Handa briefing.
“In fact, napag-usapan namin yan ni Secretary Duque kagabi kasama nga nito mga healthworkers natin and he agrees so the DOH and FDA will be coming up with a statement to be very clear na ang bakuna ay maaari lang ma-aaccess through the government vaccination program,” he added.
The government only issues emergency use authorization (EUA) to drug manufacturers who who apply for clinical trials to test the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccines. At present, only the American drugmaker Pfizer and British pharmaceutical AstraZeneca have secured authorization for administration by government.
Domingo likewise underscored that the vaccines should be free under the government’s inoculation program.
“Kung sakali man na ang gobyerno ay mag-designate ng mga LGU or mga private companies to be part of the vaccination program, e kasunod din yun sa alituntunin ng Department of Health,” Domingo said.
“At syempre pinangako naman ni Pangulo na libre ang bakuna at hindi babayaran itong mga ito,” he added.
The initial batch of COVID-19 vaccines from the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX is expected to arrive in the country by mid-February, Malacañang said on Monday.
“The COVAX facility said it will arrive mid-February and as far as we’re concerned, as you can see from the report of the mayors, we are ready to begin the vaccination and we are ready to do it by Feb. 15,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
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