Malacañang clarified Monday the supposed COVID-19 vaccines allegedly given two lawmakers did not come from the government.
“Kung mayroon hong ibang mga tao na nakapagbakuna na, hindi po iyan galing sa gobyerno. Ang assurance ng Presidente, basta binili po ng ating gobyerno, uunahin ang pinakamahihirap,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at a news conference in Davao City.
(If other people were already vaccinated, it was not from the government. The President’s assurance is that the government would buy, and the poor would be prioritized.
Roque commenting on reports that Senator Panfilo Lacson and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez already received COVID-19 vaccines.
Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against manufacturers and distributors selling unregistered COVID-19 vaccines, amid reports that vaccines were given to Lacson and Romualdez.
“Paalala po sa mga manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, may batas laban sa pamimigay at pagbebenta ng kahit anong bagay o technology, kasama na ang bakuna, na walang rehistro ng ating Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in an online forum.
Vergeire clarified that the Philippine government had not approved any COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines allegedly injected to 2 solons not from gov’t – Palace
Before a vaccine could be used in the Philippines, the vaccine manufacturer must get clearance from the Vaccine Experts Panel (VEP), the Ethics Board, and the FDA.
“Kaya po may regulatory process para masigurado na safe ang bakuna at efficacious, meaning magiging epektibo sa purpose sa pagbibigay ng bakuna,” Vergeire said.
“Sa ngayon, wala pang registered na COVID-19 vaccine sa FDA kaya dapat mag-ingat po ang ating mga kababayan,” she added.
Lacson did not categorically deny Sotto’s claim but hinted that it could only be a joke.
“Ako, ang isang trip ko, kilala nila ako. Ang isang trip ko kapag nagbibiro ako, gustung-gusto ko ‘yung merong senador na sumasayaw sa balat ng mani,” he said Sunday.
“Kapag ganu’n, mga biro na akala mo totoong-totoo, ‘yung sayaw nang sayaw naniniwala, pero actually biro. Having said that, let’s leave it at that para wala nang pag-uusapan,” Lacson added.