The Department of Health reminded the public that COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines were not for sale after three people were arrested for selling Sinovac.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire was saddened by the incident.
“Bakit kailangan magkaroon ng ganitong pagkakataon na (Why did we need to reach a point like this where) people are taking advantage of what we have right now?” she said in a briefing.
“‘Wag po kayong bibili sa ibang mga tao dahil wala po silang pagkukunan ng bakunang ‘yan (Don’t buy from other people because they can’t access vaccines) because it is just national government which can access these vaccines for now,” she explained.
“Kahit isang dose lang po ng bakuna ang nasasayang dahil sa mga ganitong pamamalakad ay napaka importante na po para sa atin (Even a single dose lost through these means is already a big deal to us),” she added.
Three people were arrested for allegedly selling Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines.
The National Bureau of Investigation Task Force Against Illegal Drugs arrested Kour Singh, Calvin Roca, and Alexis de Guzman, a registered nurse in Manila.
DOH reiterates COVID-19 vaccines not for sale
Authorities seized 300 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac in an icebox from the suspects.
“Three weeks ago, we received a report [that] there’s a group of people who’s selling vaccines to the public. We used undercover agents during the surveillance, and undercover work at this group was offering thousands of vaccines,” NBI TFAID chief Ross Jonathan Galicia said.
According to the NBI, the suspects usually sell the vaccines to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators workers.
“[They’re cooperating.] They already named the personalities involved, but we’re not yet ready to divulge [the identities of the] subjects because we’re going to conduct a follow-up,” Galicia added.
“This cannot happen because masisira ‘yong programa ng gobyerno natin [it will damage the government’s program] to vaccinate everyone fairly or equally,” he added.