Malacañang on Monday said it would not be against the law to receive Covid-19 vaccines that had yet to be approved by local regulators.

“Hindi po ipinagbabawal ang batas natin ang magpaturok ng hindi rehistrado,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

“Ang bawal po iyong distribution at iyong pagbibenta,” he added.

Roque made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that some members of his military had been injected with Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines from China.

“Huwag naman po ninyong ipagkait sa ating mga sundalo kung nagkaroon sila ng proteksiyon. Tanggapin na lang po natin na importante na iyong ating kasundaluhan, iyong mga nagbabantay sa ating seguridad ay ligtas na sa Covid nang magampanan nila ang kanilang trabaho,” Duterte’s spokesman said.

The president earlier said he wanted the soldiers and cops as among the first to get inoculated with the coronavirus vaccines to ensure their health.

No EUA = no guarantee for safety

In a statement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said without proper authorization, “there is no guarantee on the safety, quality and efficacy” of vaccines.

It also said that the manufacturing, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertisement or sponsorship of any unauthorized vaccine was prohibited.

“Commission of such prohibited acts may lead to possible liabilities provided under the law. The FDA will coordinate with other agencies and take appropriate regulatory action involving any unauthorized vaccines,” the drug regulator warned.

Last November, Roque said poor people, frontliners, healthcare workers and state forces would be prioritized once Covid-19 vaccines were made available.

The country has recorded 470,650 Covid-19 cases as of Dec. 28. John Ezekiel J. Hirro