Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Tuesday that vaccines injected to some Presidential Security Group (PSG) men were most likely donated as there is no commercial distribution yet of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
In an interview over, Año admitted that he has no idea if the injected vaccines to the PSG personnel were from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
He noted that the vaccine was administered mostly to the PSG soldiers protecting the President.
Explaining further, Año clarified that the vaccines were probably donated by someone who has access to that particular country as this is more voluntary on the parts of the soldiers.
President Duterte earlier disclosed that some members of the military have been inoculated using the vaccine from Sinopharm even without the approval of the FDA.
On Monday, Año admitted that some Cabinet members were also vaccinated against the virus.
He clarified that he only knew one Cabinet official who was vaccinated.
“I only know just one member of the Cabinet. I cannot disclose his identity because I don’t want to violate his right to privacy,” Año said.
Año insisted that there is nothing unlawful with administering vaccines to the PSG personnel and the Cabinet official as this was voluntary on their part.
He added that the vaccine was already being used in the country where it was sourced.
“There’s no need for approval of that. You know, these vaccines have EUA in the originating country and if somebody will try that for personal consumption, I don’t see any conflict,” Año said.
The PSG has defended the inoculation of Duterte’s close-in security detail against COVID-19, noting that it was the group’s primordial task to ensure that the President was healthy.
Some said there is no law against injecting oneself with the vaccine even if it causes adverse effects.
Since there is no law against committing suicides in the country, some critics pointed out that what is illegal is the smuggling of the unregistered vaccines in the country.
They asked the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to investigate how the vaccines were smuggled into the country.