“We would like to remind the public that only the Philippine government is duly authorized to procure COVID-19 vaccines and administer them,” Vaccine Czar and Chief Implementer, National Task Force Against COVID-19, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a statement December 21.
Secretary Galvez noted that reports have reached their office regarding alleged individual reservations being made for COVID-19 vaccines here in the Philippines.
“According to these reports, people can reserve a vaccine if they paid a fee of $22 before 9:00 a.m. of December 21, 2020. The said vaccine will be available by the third quarter of 2021,” he said.
“Coordination is being made with concerned agencies to identify those responsible for this misinformation and for their possible prosecution,” Galvez said.
He said that the government, through the Vaccine Expert Panel and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still in the process of evaluating the clinical trials of the candidate vaccines, and therefore, Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) have not been issued.
“As such, it should be made clear that none of these vaccines should be sold to the the public pending the issuance of EUAs. All vaccines that are reportedly being sold through the black market are deemed illegal. Due to the proliferation of false information regarding the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and procuring them through private means, the public is requested to be discerning in what they share, especially those coming from social media platforms,” Galvez said.
“This is to assure our countrymen that the government is exerting all efforts to secure safe, effective, and cost-effective COVID-19 vaccines for Filipinos at the most appropriate time. May I appeal to our countrymen to be patient and exercise good judgement, as we await the arrival of the vaccines. THE VACCINE WILL BE GIVEN TO ALL FILIPINOS FOR FREE,” he said.