Año says PSG members were injected with Chinese COVID-19 vaccine
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said not only soldiers but also members from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were injected with the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine.
“I will confirm that but I cannot name them unless they will be the one (to reveal it) but they are frontliners, especially the PSG since they are the ones protecting the President (Rodrigo Duterte),” Año said in a radio interview.
Año's reaction was sought after Duterte revealed it during his emergency meeting in Malacañang last Saturday.
Año said those who received the vaccine experienced sore throat during their second dose for one to two days.
“That is the only side effect and they are now okay,” he said.
He said the vaccine received by the government personnel was already approved for emergency use authorization (EUA).
“Even if it’s not formally and finally approved, in times of pandemic we can use it for our health workers, frontliners. That is the essence of (EUA), why would you wait for the final approval if your health workers and frontliners are dying?,” Año added.
Año cannot confirm if some Cabinet members were also vaccinated.
“That is only hearsay… Only he (Duterte) can give the confirmation,” he said.
Año said Duterte was advised by his doctors to not get the vaccine for now.
Asked if he was offered to be vaccinated, Año said he still has IgG antibodies after being infected by the virus twice.
“So let’s just give it to our frontliners who are in need,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a press briefing in Pampanga, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas said cops have yet to receive instruction from the DILG office and Malacañang with regards to being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Sinas said he is not aware any policeman have received the vaccine.
“In the PNP, I have no information if someone was already vaccinated and we are just waiting for the guidance,” he said.
As to the ongoing illegal vaccination activity in some cities, Sinas said they coordinated with the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) how to pursue that.
“We already talked about that and they will meet again with our people, especially in CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) and ACG (Anti-Cybercrime Group) because we are worried that the vaccines being used are fake vaccines,” he said.
Sinas reiterated they are just preparing once the time comes that Duterte will order them to be vaccinated. Ella Dionisio/DMS