MANILA - The Food and Drug Administration is looking into alleged inoculation programs using unauthorized Chinese vaccines in the capital, its chief said Monday.
The agency launched an operation in Binondo last week with the Manila Police District and met with Mayor Isko Moreno over reported illegal vaccinations, said FDA director general Eric Domingo.
"Sinamahan po ng mga ahente namin pero wala naman silang nahuli na nagbabakuna or wala silang nakitang supplies ng vaccinations," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Our agents accompanied them but they did not catch anyone doing inoculation or saw any supplies of vaccination.)
"Nagiimbestiga talaga ang FDA, yung aming regulatory enforcement unit, lahat po ng lead, nagbabantay po sa internet atsaka sa mga report po sa atin."
(The FDA, our regulatory enforcement unit, is investigating all leads, reports and monitoring the internet.)
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said many Filipinos have been injected with the unauthorized Sinopharm vaccine.
"At sabihin ko sa iyo, marami na ang nagpa-injection dito sa Sinopharm. At huwag kang tumingin sa akin kay hindi kita kilala," he said during a meeting with officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force.
(I'll tell you, many here have been inoculated with Sinopharm. Don't look at me, I don't know you.)
Domingo had replied to the President that they have yet to catch these persons, "Naka-tatlong raid na po kami sa Makati atsaka sa Binondo pero wala naman po kaming nahuli pa."
(We have conducted 3 raids in Makati and one in Binondo but we have yet to catch them.)
The FDA chief again warned the public against being inoculated with unauthorized drugs.
"'Wag po kayo magpapaturok ng kung ano-ano dahil wala pa po talaga tayong aprubadong vaccine na maaaring dalhin sa Pilipinas. Kaya di po natin sigurado kung ano po yan at kung saan dumaan yan," he said.
(Don't let yourself be injected with just anything because we still don't have an authorized vaccine in the Philippines. We're not sure what that drug is and where it came from.)
Chinese firms Sinovac and Sinopharm have yet to apply for an emergency use authority in the Philippines as they expect to get the interim result of their phase 3 clinical trials by end of the month or by January, Domingo said.
Pfizer applied for an EUA in the country on Dec. 23, Malacañang earlier said.
"Wala pa po. Ineexpect po namin baka susunod AstraZeneca, medyo nagpeprepare na sila. Sinovac, wala pa pong lumalapit sa min," he said.
(None yet. We expect AstraZeneca to be the next one to apply, they are preparing already. Sinovac has yet to approach us.)