FDA to crack down on illegal sale of AstraZeneca, Sinovac vaccines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it will ‘track down’ those purportedly selling COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Sinovac through social media.

“We have all seen the Facebook posts, and the tweets and the Viber messages. Mayroong nagbebenta allegedly ng AstraZeneca, mayroong nagbebenta allegedly ng Sinovac,” said in a briefing.

[Translation: There are people allegedly selling AstraZeneca vaccine, others the Sinovac vaccine.]

“So our regulatory officers are meeting with these groups and tracking them down and reminding na hindi maaaring magbenta (that they cannot sell COVID-19 vaccines),” he added.

At present, no one is legally allowed to sell any COVID-19 vaccine. Coronavirus shots can only be accessed through the government’s vaccination program. Only COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use, like those developed by AstraZeneca and Sinovac, are given under the local inoculation drive.

An emergency use authorization is issued for unregistered drugs and vaccines amid a public health emergency, a state that the country is in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EUA, which hastens approval for vaccines that normally takes years, is only valid for the duration of the public health emergency declaration, or upon the issuance of a certificate of product registration or CPR. CPR is necessary to sell the drugs and vaccines to the general public.