Malacañang issued a warning against those who are selling what is supposed to be a vaccine for COVID-19, saying there is a punishment for those who will sell drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement following text messages being circulated saying that COVID-19 vaccines are now being sold in the Philippines for P50,000 per shot.
In his Thursday press briefing, Roque said the sale of unapproved drugs is prohibited.
“Bawal po iyan (That is not allowed),” he said.
The Palace official likewise warned those who are behind the messages being circulated saying they can be punished.
“Mayroon pong ipinapataw na parusa sa kahit sinong magbebenta ng gamot o bakuna na hindi po aprubado ng FDA (There is a punishment for those who are selling drugs or vaccines that are not approved by the FDA),” Roque said.
“Mayroon pong kulong iyan, itigil ninyo po iyan (You can be imprisoned so stop that),” he added.
Roque said this week that the government has already discussed assigning a vaccine czar to take care of the logistics for the COVID-19 vaccines.
This month, President Duterte assured the public that he already has the funds for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines. According to Malacañang, an initial 20 million Filipinos will get the vaccine for free.
Roque said this month that the estimated price for a vaccine is US$10 per dose. An individual should have two doses of the vaccine.
He added that if the vaccine will be available this year, the government will have to borrow from the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines to buy them. However, if it will be released next year, the funds for the vaccine will be taken from the proposed P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget.