Buyer beware: COVID-19 'vaccines' sold online not FDA-approved

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2020 04:00 PM

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MANILA — The Food and Drug Administration reminded the public Wednesday that no coronavirus vaccine has been approved yet in the country or abroad amid reports that a coronavirus vaccine is being sold online. 

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said they have received reports of an online ad written in Chinese, claiming that a vaccine was being sold for a large amount (P50,000 per shot) at a clinic in Makati. 

“So kinontak ng ating mga ahente itong clinic at naglabas sila ng disclaimer na hindi totoong may nagbebenta doon,” he told ABS-CBN News.

(So our agents contacted this clinic and they released a disclaimer saying that it’s not true that they are selling COVID-19 vaccines there.)

He said the FDA will do follow up operations to ensure that there really are no illegal products being sold there.

Domingo reiterated that the first vaccine developer who applied for clinical trials in the Philippines is still undergoing ethical review.

“Well definitely kung may mahuli tayo na nagbebenta, nagdi-distribute, nag-i-inject, gumagamit nitong bakuna na ito, malaking pananagutan 'yun dahil bawal naman talaga sa batas natin,” he said.

(Well definitely if we catch someone selling, distributing, injecting or using a supposed COVID-19 vaccine then they will face serious consequences because that is a violation of our law.)

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He said all of the vaccines being studied are still investigational, which means there is no assurance that they are safe or effective.

“Kailangan po talaga hintayin natin makumpleto ang lahat ng pag-aaral at pagsusuri bago tayo magpapabakuna,” Domingo said.

(We really need to wait for studies and evaluations to be completed before we get vaccinated.)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also assured the public that the FDA is “constantly monitoring these products online or in the market.”

She said any vaccine or product in the country has to undergo the regulatory process to ensure that it is safe and effective.

— With a report from Raphael Bosano, ABS-CBN News