Palace: Duterte's Sinopharm vaccination legal

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 4) — Malacañang on Tuesday said there was nothing illegal about President Rodrigo Duterte's vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm. The Palace added that the vaccine wasn't smuggled.

"Hindi po iligal ang paggamit ng Presidente dahil may compassionate use na inissue para sa PSG Hospital at hindi po smuggled ang gamit ni Presidente dahil ito po ay donated ng Chinese government," Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said during his regular televised briefing.

[Translation: The President's use (of the Sinopharm vaccine) is not illegal because a compassionate use (permit) has been issued for the PSG Hospital. He also did not use a smuggled vaccine because this was donated by the Chinese government.]

Duterte on Monday received his first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine, which the Palace earlier said was his preferred brand. Sinopharm has yet to formally apply for emergency use authorization with the Food and Drug Administration.

https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/5/3/duterte-first-dose-sinopharm-vaccine.html

However, the FDA in February granted the Presidential Security Group a compassionate special permit to use Sinopharm doses despite being unregistered. 

"So as far as the President is concerned, he did not violate any laws because precisely it was administered by the PSG Hospital although physically administered by the Health Secretary himself 'no," the spokesman further explained, adding the vaccine administered on Duterte came from the "additional 1,000 donation" of the Chinese government to national authorities.

The chief executive's inoculation, however, is a shift from the Palace's earlier pronouncement in March that he will await the EUA issuance of Sinopharm before using it. 

Malacañang also announced previously that Duterte will take his COVID-19 shot in public view to help increase vaccine confidence among Filipinos.