Duque: PSG inoculation ‘dangerous’

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    HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque III yesterday said the self-inoculation of members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) with an unregistered vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is “dangerous.”

    He said the immunization could lead to adverse effects.

    “First and foremost, it’s dangerous to do that… Is this the real vaccine?” Duque said in a TV interview.

    “The fact that it didn’t go through the regulatory, scientific evaluation by the government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Science and Technology’s vaccine experts panel, it’s the danger that it might bring to those who received the vaccines that is our utmost concern,” he added.

    He said he has asked the PSG to submit reports on the health of its members who received the unregistered vaccine.

    “I have spoken to PSG Commander (Brig. Gen.) Jesus Durante. And he agreed to give us a list and to have a monitoring system for adverse events following immunization. They will submit to us a monitoring report on a monthly basis,” said Duque.

    Durante last month said the vaccine was administered to PSG members in September and October.

    Questions have been raised about how the vaccine was brought into the country and who authorized its use.

    The Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration were not aware of the PSG move. Durante has said President Duterte was also not advised before the inoculation.

    The controversy has resulted in separate investigations by the FDA, the Bureau of Customs, and the National Bureau of Investigation. A military probe has been canceled. The Senate Blue Ribbon committee is eyeing an inquiry,

    The Makabayan bloc at the House is calling for an investigation on what it calls “VIP” COVID-19 vaccination.

    President Duterte on Monday night said his order to the PSG is to ignore any summons from the Senate, which will hold a hearing on Monday on the government vaccination program, not on the PSG vaccine case.

    Duque said he wants the FDA investigation to push through.

    “As far as I’m concerned, there has been no order from the Office of the President to stop any investigation. So those investigations are proceeding,” he said.