Investigation Of Illicit Chinese Vaccines Underway After Philippines Official Admits To Taking Smuggled Injection

(Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

Jesse Stiller Contributor
Font Size:

An investigation into illegal COVID-19 vaccines has been launched in the Philippines after a presidential adviser admitted to receiving a dose of a Chinese vaccine that has not been approved.

Ramon Tulfo, the country’s special envoy to China who is also a celebrity radio and TV host, claimed in a column that he received a dose of the unauthorized Sinopharm COVID vaccine from President Rodrigo Duterte’s security detail in October, Reuters reported Wednesday. He repeated his claims in a One News interview.

“I got hold of vaccines from a friend who smuggled it into the country.” Tulfo said to One News, according to Reuters.

Tulfo also accused several government officials of receiving Sinopharm vaccines, Reuters reported. It is unclear when officials received their vaccine, if at all, or how they obtained their doses. (RELATED: REPORT: Gaming CEO And Wife Flew To Yukon To Get Vaccines Intended For Indigenous Elders)

No arrests have been made regarding the smuggling accusations.

“We are investigating because it’s not good to learn of these inoculations that did not go through proper procedures.” Philippines Food and Drug Administration chief Rolando Enrique Domingo told Reuters.

Earlier in February, 80 Chinese nationals were reportedly arrested for their involvement in a criminal group seeking to sell fake vaccines in the country and abroad. Approximately 3,000 vaccines from the group were shipped domestically and around the world.

A doctor in Texas is facing charges after he allegedly stole a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine to give to friends and family.