Sinovac shots confiscated in QC ‘unsafe,’ had dirty packaging – FDA
MANILA, Philippines — The 300 doses of COVID-19 vaccine supposedly manufactured by China’s Sinovac Biotech that were confiscated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Quezon City had soiled packaging and are not safe to use, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday.
FDA director Eric Domingo said the vaccines “definitely” were being sold at the black market. He added that they are checking vaccine records and are coordinating with the Bureau of Customs to check if there were vaccine deliveries aside from those initiated by the government in the previous weeks.
“‘Yung mga unang nakita natin dati, mukhang fake kasi (The first ones we saw looked fake because) this was before vaccines were starting to be delivered. But this one, definitely black market. This was being sold and [at] a very high price, and when we look at the vaccines they look authentic, they look like real vaccines,” he told CNN Philippines’ The Source.
“However, they were like bukas na tapos medyo madumi ‘yung packaging. Nakalagay lang sa styrofoam box with ice and definitely are very, very unsafe products,” he added.
(However, the bottles were slightly opened and the packaging was slightly dirty. They were only placed in a styrofoam box with ice and are very, very unsafe products.)
Domingo said the NBI told the FDA that the arrested sellers were selling more than the 300 doses that were confiscated by authorities.
“So there is a possibility that they are holding more, that somebody there is holding more products,” said Domingo.
The FDA chief said investigators are now tracing where the confiscated vaccines were sourced.
“These ones that were caught and turned over to us for sake-keeping, we are now tracing and looking for how they got in and where they got these vaccines,” he said.
“Once vaccines get out of the system, they are unsafe for us because there is no way of knowing how they were handled and these probably did not go through the correct cold handling facilities,” he also noted.
Domingo reminded the public to only get vaccines from local government units and authorized sources, noting the tedious process of correctly handling the coronavirus shots to ensure its safety.
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.