Special envoy to China Mon Tulfo admitted in an interview with One News on Tuesday that he was vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine smuggled by his “friend.”
“[A]s to those people who are using the vaccines without EUA and also suppliers supplying vaccines without EUA, ito po ay iligal at maaari po kayo ma-sanction at mabigyan ng penalties because of this,” ani Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, Wednesday.
“‘Yung mga ganyan, may lumalabas pa rin ng mga tao na umaamin na nabakunahan sila, ito po ay makakasama sa imbestigasyon.”
Under Republic Act 9711, import, sale, distribution, non-consumer use etc. of health products not registered with the FDA are prohibited. However, COVID-19 vaccines are allowed even without registration as long as there is an EUA during a public health emergency.
Violation of RA 9711 carries a corresponding fine and imprisonment.
Mon Tulfo could face charges over smuggled Sinopharm vaccine – DOH
Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine does not have EUA. So far, COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac have EUA from FDA.
“All of these things, kapag nakita natin na hindi ayon sa mga batas na meron tayo dito sa ating bansa, will be considered illegal,” said Vergeire.
“Kung sino man ‘yung mga kababayan natin o kaya ay distributors or suppliers na nagbibigay ng mga bakunang walang [EUA], magkakaroon ng appropriate investigation. And if there would be violations. Magkaka-sanction po,” she added.
Tulfo had earlier said that he had been vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine in 2020 with some government employees.
“I now confess to the public: I had myself vaccinated—along with some government officials whose names I won’t mention here—with the Sinopharm vaccine last October. Some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were also injected with the same vaccine,” said Tulfo in a Manila Times article.
“Don’t ask me where I got the vaccine because I will never tell you.”