A DAY after saying that President Rodrigo Duterte’s vaccination using what remains of the smuggled jabs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now claims that the elite security group which first used the illegally sourced doses has not been cooperating in the investigation aimed at pinning down the smuggler.
According to FDA director general Dr. Eric Domingo, since the probe started last year, they have not heard or received any information they are expecting from the Presidential Security Group (PSG), preventing them from wrapping it up.
He added that Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque had asked the PSG for information on the COVID-19 vaccines given to its members.
“Even Secretary Duque has asked for information but there’s really nothing forthcoming. It’s a very difficult situation and until now, hindi namin masarahan ang kaso na ito,” Domingo said.
Even after the FDA gave compassionate use authorization to the PSG Hospital for the Sinopharm vaccine five months after presidential guards received the jabs, Domingo said that information on the Sinopharm jabs would be useful especially since a certain number of PSG members contracted COVID-19 in March.
“We want to know what happened to them,” Domingo said.
Duterte was inoculated against COVID-19 using China-made Sinopharm vaccine on Monday. Duque administered the vaccination.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque warded off criticisms hurled on Duterte for using a vaccine that does not even have an emergency use authorization from the FDA.
“Wala pong nalabag na batas. Hindi po ilegal ito. It forms part of the 1,000 doses of Sinopharm donated by China,” Roque said.