Beware! COVID-19 vaccines sold online are fake -- FDA | Inquirer News
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Beware! COVID-19 vaccines sold online are fake — FDA

/ 01:05 PM March 30, 2021

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MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 vaccines being sold online are fake, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned on Tuesday.

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Dr. Oscar Gutierrez Jr., FDA Deputy Director General for Field Regulatory Operations, said that only COVID-19 vaccines with emergency use authorization (EUA) are approved for use in the Philippines. 

“I am sure that vaccines sold online are falsified and fake vaccines. They should not be patronized by anybody. Otherwise, they are only giving their money to the criminals,” he said in an online press briefing.

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He said that legitimate and approved COVID-19 vaccines cannot be found on the internet.

“As of now, there are no fake vaccines in the Philippines yet that’s why we are trying to prevent their entry into our supply chain,” he added.

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(REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo)

Gutierrez pointed out that an EUA is issued for unregistered vaccines during a public health emergency and is not a certificate of product registration or a marketing authorization.

Currently, only the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac Biontech, and Gamaleya Institute have EUAs in the Philippines.

Legitimate COVID-19 vaccines, he said, are not for sale, since such vaccines are strictly distributed and administered under the management of the Department of Health (DOH).

Gutierrez also warned that counterfeit vaccines do not have active ingredients, or while it may have the correct ingredients, the quantity may still be insufficient.

They are also contaminated with hazardous substances, which could lead to severe disease, permanent disability, toxicity or death.

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Fake vaccines, Gutierrez stressed, are likewise ineffective, giving a false sense of protection.

 “Thus, a person [who received the fake vaccine] may get infected and spread the infection in the community,” he explained.

He added that spotting a fake vaccine is difficult as these are labeled and packaged to a high standard, and that sometimes, a laboratory test is the only way to identify the difference between a fake and genuine vaccine.

Those found selling fake vaccines will face penalties under the Republic Act No. 9711 or The Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, according to Gutierrez.

 

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