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Illegally sold COVID-19 vaccine doses unfit for use —FDA chief

COVID-19 vaccines sold illegally are unfit for use as there is no guarantee that they were handled properly and kept at the right temperature, the chief of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.

In an interview on Unang Balita, Director General Eric Domingo said the vaccines seized from alleged vendors were found to be genuine but considered unfit for use.

He explained that this was because some of the packaging had been opened and one video showed the vaccines stored in a cooler placed inside a vehicle.

“Hindi na maaaring gamitin 'yan… Hindi mo na kasi alam ‘yung integrity ng cold chain, ng pagha-handle niyan at ‘pag ganyang merong doubt, hindi na po natin pinapayagang gamitin sa tao ang ganyan po na mga bakuna,” Domingo said.

(Those cannot be used… It’s hard to determine the integrity of the cold chain, of the handling, and when there are doubts like that, we do not allow the use of such vaccines on humans.)

Domingo also said authorities have been tracking down the source of the vaccines to determine whether they were smuggled or taken from the government’s supply.

He called on the public to report suspected COVID-19 vaccine vendors to the FDA through its website.

Three people were earlier arrested for allegedly selling COVID-19 vaccines, a practice that is not yet allowed as the vaccines have not been issued market authorization by the FDA. 

President Rodrigo Duterte has warned illegal sellers not to push their luck.  —KBK, GMA News