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PNP, NBI urged: Crack down on fake vaccines

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
PNP, NBI urged: Crack down on fake vaccines
“With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country, we are anticipating unscrupulous individuals selling unregistered, or worse, fake vaccines,” Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian said.
Philstar.com / Irish Lising

MANILA, Philippines — A House leader yesterday called on law enforcement agencies to crack down on the online sale of fake and unregistered coronavirus vaccines and warned the public against an underground market once legitimate vaccines arrive in the country.

“With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country, we are anticipating unscrupulous individuals selling unregistered, or worse, fake vaccines,” Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian asked the cybercrime units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to pool their resources to apprehend opportunists who would prey on the public.

He urged the PNP and NBI to be on the lookout for unregistered COVID-19 vaccines.

“Vaccines that have not been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) may be harmful to the health of consumers. I urge the public to report any suspicious advertisement claiming to be a vaccine for COVID-19,” he said.

To date, only Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have been issued emergency use authorization by the FDA.

The FDA has warned the public against the sale of unregistered vaccines.

Gatchalian said the government should protect the people from possible harmful effects of unregistered vaccines.

He reiterated his call for the passage of the Internet Transactions Act (ITA), which he said would be an effective deterrent against scammers who use social media for their nefarious activities.

The House of Representatives has passed on third reading its version of the ITA. The counterpart bill in the Senate is still pending.

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