The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered a probe into the entry and use of a Chinese vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) that has yet to get local approval but was used by members of the military including presidential guards.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said he had directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into how state-owned Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm was able to ship their unapproved Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines as this could be illegal.
“[This proble] not zeroing in on the PSG or on any particular incident of unauthorized vaccination,” he said.
But Guevarra said: “If the NBI finds sufficient factual basis to file a complaint, the DOJ will conduct a preliminary investigation and file a case in court if probable cause has been established.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo told an online press briefing that the “manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, nonconsumer use, promotion, advertising, or sponsorship of any health product” not registered with the FDA was illegal.
However, in a Palace press briefing on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained that getting inoculated with a vaccine without approval from the FDA is not a violation of Republic Act 9711 or the FDA Act of 2009.
“The law does not prohibit individuals from getting inoculated with vaccines that are not registered. What’s prohibited is the distribution and sale. So, this was only given to soldiers who agreed,” he said in Filipino. SOVEREIGNPH