Amidst the ongoing national vaccination program, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned local government units (LGUs) and the public against buying fake Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines that are out in the market following an alert issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In an Advisory, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año called on all provincial governors, city/municipal mayors, and punong barangays to be cautious about their vaccine sources or chain of supply and ensure that all medical products particularly COVID-19 vaccines must be obtained from authorized/licensed suppliers.
“While there is no information yet on the presence of the fake vaccines in the country, LGUs should exercise increased diligence as these fake vaccines may be dangerous to the health of those who get inoculated,” Año said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a global medical product alert on a falsified COVID-19 vaccine with the product name “BNT162b2” which claims to be manufactured by Pfizer Biontech. Said product contains the lot number “783201” and stated an expiry date of “AUG 24.”
In its global alert, WHO said the fake vaccine, which was first discovered in Mexico, “deliberately and fraudulently misrepresents its identity, composition or source”. WHO is still conducting laboratory analysis of the contents and will provide updates as soon as the results are available.
“Ngayong marami na namang kaso ng COVID-19, ang kailangan natin ay pag-iingat at proteksyon laban sa sakit na ito sa pamamagitan ng mga bakuna at hindi dagdag na problema na maaaring idulot ng pekeng bakuna,” said Año.
The DILG Secretary also directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide the necessary assistance in investigating and confiscating these fake COVID-19 vaccines. “Inatasan ko na ang PNP na tutukan ang isyu tungkol sa pekeng bakuna para walang mapahamak sa paggamit nito,” he said.
He called on the public to immediately report any information on the presence or use of BNT162b2 in the country to the National Task Force Vaccine Cluster through the e-mail address email@example.com or mobile number +639178237310.
“Mangyari lamang po na ipaalam ninyo sa autoridad ang anumang impormasyon tungkol sa pekeng bakuna para mapigil natin ang pagbebenta nito sa merkado,” Año said.