The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it would investigate the illegal COVID-19 vaccination of broadcaster Ramon Tulfo, the country's current special envoy to China as the Philippines has yet to start its mass immunization program.
Tulfo admitted in a television interview Tuesday to getting inoculated with smuggled Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines from China.
"We will refer this report to our regulatory enforcement unit para po imbestigahan nila,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said in a televised briefing.
“Hindi naman po maganda na nalalaman natin na may ganitong pagpapabakuna na hindi po dumadaan sa tamang proseso,” he added.
Domingo noted that Sinopharm has not applied for emergency use authorization in the Philippines.
Tulfo, in an interview with One News Tuesday, said he got inoculated with the smuggled vaccine because he wanted to be a distributor of the brand in the Philippines even though the government prohibits the commercial sale of COVID-19 jabs.
"You have to understand that although I'm special envoy to China, I'm also a private citizen. Naga-apply ako ng distributorship ng Sinopharm," Tulfo said.
This is not the first time that the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine has been dragged into controversy. Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte's close-in security detail also admitted getting inoculated with the same vaccine brand.
The Department of Health on Wednesday said it would include Tulfo's COVID-19 vaccination in its investigation into the illegal inoculation of the PSG.
"Kapag nakita natin na hindi ayon sa batas na meron tayo sa bansa, [it] will be considered illegal," Department of Health spokesperson Usec. Rosario Vergeire said.
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