Strictly no vaccine for sale — Manila Health Dept.

Published July 9, 2021, 11:50 AM

by Andrea Aro

The Manila Health Department (MHD) has issued a memorandum to all private hospitals, institutions, corporations, groups, organizations and private entities in the city calling for their strict compliance with City Ordinance No. 8740 which prohibits the sale of vaccines which are being given to the public for free.

A health worker shows Russian drug firm Gamaleya Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine at the Vaccination hub in Lake shore Taguig City on Tuesday, May 04, 2021. (Ali Vicoy / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

(MHD) Chief Dr. Arnold “Poks” Pangan issued the memo after Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to ensure that no cases of “vaccines for sale” will ever be recorded in the city.

“We would like to remind and reiterate to all private entities that in order to discourage the manufacture, sale, and proliferation of fake COVID-19 vaccines for profit, to the detriment of its citizenry, an ordinance penalizing these private entities from commission of said acts is necessary,” the memorandum read.

The memorandum and a copy of the city ordinance were disseminated by MHD assistant chief Dr. Ed Santos.

On May 24, Domagoso signed Ordinance No. 8740 which prohibits any person, institution, corporation, and group from “distributing or administering COVID-19 vaccine for gain, income, and profit.”

Those who will be caught violating Ordinance No. 8740 will have to pay a P5,000 fine and face six months of imprisonment.

“Natutuwa kami kapag ang korporasyon ay bumili dahil gusto n’yo tumulong, walang hinihinging kapalit. Kung korporasyon ka, bumili ka ng bakuna, maraming salamat sa ‘yo dahil trabaho namin sa gobyerno na magkaroon ng free vaccines. Dapat, tulong is tulong (We’re happy if a corporation will purchase the vaccine because they want to help and they are not asking anything in return. If you’re a corporation, purchase the vaccine. Our job is to provide free vaccines, help is help),” Domagoso said.

The ordinance aims to stop the use and sale of fake vaccines as the vaccines in the country only have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the Food and Drug Administration for unregistered drugs and vaccines in a public health emergency.

READ MORE: Manila bans sale of COVID-19 vaccines; violators to face fine, imprisonment

According to Domagoso, he received a report that a private organization is collecting payment for vaccines “separate from the payment of vaccinators, allegedly at cost.”

“Bawal magbenta, kumita o balik-pera (No selling, profiting, or return-money). I, with the help of Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and the Manila City Council will continue protecting the citizens of Manila and those going in and out of the city. Basta pag nagsimula na ang kitaan, maniwala kayo na lahat ng pag-abuso posible nang maganap at ang masakit diyan, baka nagbayad ka na, napeke ka pa (If the selling and profiting has started, believe me, they will take an advantage and it’s possible that you might purchase fake vaccine),”