MANILA - The Presidential Security Group will have to submit monthly reports on its personnel that have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said Thursday as he emphasized that what the guards did was dangerous.
Duque said PSG Commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III has agreed to turn over a list of the personnel who received the vaccine and adopt a "monitoring system for adverse events following immunization." Reports will have to be submitted "on a monthly basis."
The health chief maintained he "never knew anything about the activities of the PSG" with regard to the vaccination, but he stressed that this was dangerous.
"First and foremost, it’s dangerous to do that. I just want to be emphatic about it. You don’t know, is this the real vaccine?" he told ANC's Headstart when asked if he would say that what the PSG did was wrong.
"The fact that it didn’t go through the regulatory, scientific evaluation by the government agencies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), DOST (Department of Science and Technology) vaccine experts panel? It’s the danger that it might bring to those who received the vaccines is our utmost concern," he said.
Durante earlier said "a handful" of PSG personnel vaccinated themselves with a drug he did not name. He said inoculations began in September and the last batch was finished in October.
President Rodrigo Duterte was unaware that his guards received the vaccine until after it was done, according to Durante.
The FDA has yet to approve any drug against COVID-19, and Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said what the PSG used was "smuggled." However, he said the early inoculation of members of the presidential guards was "justified."
The Armed Forces of the Philippines called off its investigation into the matter after Duterte told the PSG to withhold information about it if called to a congressional inquiry.