The Food and Drug Administration’s chief clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte did not have anything to do with the controversial and unregulated vaccination of members of the Presidential Security Group and other personnel.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo responded to a press query: “Palagay ko hindi naman siguro si Presidente (ang) nagturok or nagbigay ng bakuna. Ang bawal po kasi talaga yung pag-import, pag-distribute at pag-administer ng bakuna.”
“But I think the President had no direct hand in vaccinating any individual,” he said.
Domingo also said that the FDA will await results of the investigation before concluding who is to blame for the said inoculation.
In a separate presser, Domingo said the FDA and the Department of Health were not consulted regarding the vaccination of PSG against COVID-19.
Domingo said they want to know what vaccine was used to inoculate mebers of the Presidential Security Group, where the unregistered drugs came from, and who administered the shots.
On the other hand, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque seemed to believe that it is ‘not a big deal’ as the vaccines were ‘donated.’
However, the FDA chief said even donated vaccines need to secure clearance from concerned agencies.
Under the FDA Act, those who import, sell, or distribute any unregistered health product may face the penalty of imprisonment or fines. Charges await those who import, sell, distribute, and dispense the drugs.
On December 26, Duterte revealed that “almost all soldiers” have been vaccinated with the anti-coronavirus drug developed by the China-owned firm Sinopharm. The company has not applied to hold trials or applied for emergency use authorization in the Philippines.