Beware of fake COVID-19 vaccines, the national police force warned on Facebook.
Social media posts and infographics containing this warning were recently posted on social media accounts of some provincial police stations.
The Cainta Police Station in Rizal posted on July 14 a stock photo with a quote, saying: “Ang mga pekeng bakuna ay maaaring magdulot ng kamatayan o makapaminsala sa gagamit nito.”
The Abucay Police Station in Bataan similarly posted on the same day a graphic that stated: “No to fake COVID-19 vaccines.”
The Santa Cruz Police Station in Laguna, meanwhile, shared on July 13 a more detailed infographic, with the following text:
“Ang mga pekeng bakuna ay maaaring magdulot ng kamatayan o makapaminsala sa gagamit nito. Ang COVID-19 vaccine ay libre lamang na ipinapamahagi ng ating gobyerno.”
Last March, amid the start of the national vaccination program, the Food and Drug Administration also advised the public of a falsified COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico identified as “BNT162b2”, manufactured by Pfizer- BioNTech with lot number 783201.
The state regulator then warned the public against criminal groups and unscrupulous individuals who are selling these fake pharmaceutical products, citing that no COVID-19 vaccine is allowed to be sold.
“The FDA would like to inform the public that globally no approved COVID-19 vaccines are currently available for sale online. In the Philippines, no COVID-19 vaccines are allowed to be offered for sale in any pharmacy, botika or drug outlets,” FDA said.
“Any vaccine being advertised on websites is not legitimate. Also in the Philippines, only COVID-19 vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization and those procured by and through the Government of the Philippines are allowed,” it added.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. later announced in the same month that the National Task Force against COVID-19 is probing three unauthorized suppliers which were supposedly behind the entry of fake vaccines in the country.
“May tatlong company kaming pinapaimbestigahan. Kasi we record-check kung saan sila galing and we found out na hindi sila authorized ng mother company ng vaccine…and with that medyo spurious ang kanilang pagpasok dito and even offering it to different LGUs,” Galvez said.
Last week, PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar cautioned the public from entertaining buyers and sellers of vaccine doses or vials.
Eleazar noted that COVID-19 jabs are being distributed by the government for free and should not be used for profit, which was also FDA’s previous statement.
“We are warning the people not to patronize these sellers because you will be charged for this,” he said.