MANILA — Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday warned against the illegal selling of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
Galvez said COVID-19 jabs in the Philippines are only under
emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration and "therefore cannot be commercially sold."
"We believe this type of unscrupulous activity does not only hamper the efficient and effective rollout of our national vaccination program but also puts our countrymen in danger with the selling and eventual use of unverified anti-COVID 19 vaccines," he said in a statement.
Galvez said the country's national COVID-19 task force will "ensure that a thorough investigation on the matter is conducted, and those involved will be penalized" under law.
He said authorities already have identified vaccine lot numbers and are conducting follow-up operations to arrest violators.
"We encourage the public to report these kinds of illicit activities so that we bring to justice those who are involved," Galvez said.
The Philippines' FDA has granted emergency use authorization for the vaccine candidates of Pfizer, Sinovac, Gamaleya Institute, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Bharat Biotech, and Moderna, as well as for the donated 1,000 doses of Sinopharm intended for the Presidential Security Group.
So far, more than 17.4 million doses of vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Gamaleya have been shipped to the country.
As of June 27, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 2.5 million individuals against COVID-19. More than 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered since the rollout last March 1.
At least 58 million are being targeted for full vaccination to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus.