After Duterte vaccination, Panelo also gets Sinopharm COVID-19 shot
MANILA, Philippines — A day after President Rodrigo Duterte received his COVID-19 vaccine from the China-based pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm, his chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo also got inoculated with the yet unregistered vaccine.
Panelo sent reporters a photo of himself getting a Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccination earlier in the day, but he didn’t mention where he had it.
“An hour ago. Sinopharm,” he said in a text message when asked when he received the shot and the brand of the vaccine.
Malacañang has defended Duterte’s vaccination with an unregistered COVID-19 vaccine by pointing out it was covered by the compassionate use permit previously granted to the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
The Palace also said the Sinopharm vaccine dose came from the additional 1,000 doses donated by the Chinese government.
The Food and Drug Administration in February granted a compassionate use permit for 10,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine.
Malacañang earlier said the President could be covered in the compassionate use permit since he is the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
In a text message to INQUIRER.net, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said individuals can get the Sinopharm vaccine as long as it is administered in the PSG hospital, which, he said, was granted the compassionate use license.
“Basta administered by PSG Hospital. [A] compassionate use permit is issued to a hospital,” he said when asked if Panelo is also covered by the compassionate use permit.
Sinopharm has yet to apply and secure an emergency use authorization before the country’s Food and Drug Administration. So far, there are only five vaccine brands that have secured emergency use authorization in the country: Pfizer BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, and India’s Covaxin.
Roque said he did not know that Panelo had been vaccinated against COVID-19 but he could have been vaccinated since he is a senior citizen.
“Wala kaming alam diyan. Pero Secretary Panelo is a senior citizen so kasama siya sa A2 priority group (senior citizens). He’s not there as a secretary, he’s there perhaps as a senior citizen,” Roque said in a Palace briefing when asked about Panelo’s vaccination.
(We don’t know anything about that but Secretary Panelo is a senior citizen so he belongs to the A2 priority group. He’s not there as a secretary but perhaps as a senior citizen.)
In a separate statement on Tuesday, Panelo said he felt no side effects after receiving the jab.
“No side effects after the jab, and I’m feeling normal,” he said.
“Those who still have lingering doubts or fears on the efficacy of any vaccine should put them to rest,” Panelo added.
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