The Food and Drug Administration on Friday cautioned the public against buying COVID-19 vaccines from unauthorized sources, which is both illegal and unsafe.
COVID vaccines are only approved for emergency use and thus, cannot be sold commercially. Buying it from the black market has no assurance of proper handling, said FDA Director General Eric Domingo.
"This one, definitely black market, this was being sold from the back of a car [at] a very high price. When we looked at the vaccines.. They look authentic, they really look like real vaccines..," he told CNN's The Source, referring their recent seizure of over 300 Sinovac vaccines that were being sold illegally.
"However, they were bukas na. Medyo madumi ang packaging, nakalagay lang sa parang styrofoam box with ice. Definitely, they are very, very unsafe products," he added.
Domingo said the FDA was investigating how those vaccines were sourced in the first place, after the National Bureau of Investigation turned them over for safekeeping.
The FDA has yet to determine if the vaccines were pulled from the government's supply or from an unauthorized distributor.
President Rodrigo Duterte early this week told illegal vaccine sellers to not "press [their] luck too far", warning retribution.