MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday reminded Filipinos not to take COVID-19 vaccines that are still under development and are not registered with the Food and Drug Administration.
This in response to reports that some government officials already got vaccinated against the virus. Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto reportedly told media that Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez already received COVID-19 shots although it is unclear if the lawmakers were vaccinated in the country or abroad.
“Gusto nating sabihin sa ating mga kababayan wala pa pong aprubadong bakuna na pwedeng gamitin dito sa ating bansa para sa COVID-19,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.
(We want to remind Filipinos that there is no approved COVID-19 vaccine yet that may be used in the country.)
She explained that vaccination in the country can only be allowed if there is already a registered vaccine with the FDA or clinical trials have started. There are still no clinical trials that have been allowed in the Philippines.
The health official emphasized that vaccines must undergo the regulatory process to ensure that they are safe and effective for Filipinos.
“Alam naming talagang sabik na tayo na mareceive itong vaccine na ito dahil sa takot, dahil sa gusto na nating matapos itong nangyayari sa ating sitwasyon ngayon but this is not the right way to go. So pinapaalalahanan natin ang lahat, mag-ingat tayo,” she said, following reports that government officials were already vaccinated.
(We know that people are eager to receive the vaccine because we are afraid and we want the pandemic to end but this is not the right way to go. So we remind everyone to be careful.)
She however reminded vaccine manufacturers, suppliers and distributors that there are laws against selling vaccines that are not registered with the FDA.
“Meron pong kaukulang mga sanctions ito pong mga nagbibigay ng ganito na walang rehistro. Please antayin po nating matapos ang regulatory procedures natin bago kayo magdistribute ng mga bakuna because we are now talking about lives of people and public health should be protected,” she said.
(There are sanctions for those who sell without registering. Please wait for the regulatory procedures before you distribute your vaccines because we are now talking about lives of people and public health should be protected.)
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