Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año clarified Tuesday that the unregistered COVID-19 vaccine injected on some personnel of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), military men and Cabinet members is not part of the rollout of the antidote against the virus in the country.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (Philippine Information Agency / MANILA BULLETIN)

“This is not part of the rollout, this is not part of the procurement of the government. This is just on their (PSG) own initiative so there’s no connection or any apprehension about the distribution,” Año noted in an interview over ANC.
Año issued the clarification in the wake of complaints of favoritism aired by some frontline health workers that PSG men, military personnel and Cabinet members were prioritized in the vaccination process.
“The President has already laid out the guidelines on who are the priorities, the healthcare workers, the vulnerable, the indigent families and then the soldiers,” he added.
In the wake of the controversy, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo said they are looking into the vaccination of some soldiers and Cabinet officials against COVID-19 using an unregistered vaccine.
Año also maintained that the use of unregistered vaccines against the virus is not a policy of the government.
“There’s no policy that we are getting vaccines without FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval officially. So it’s not a policy,” Año stressed.
Año also asked the public to refrain from muddling the issue insisting that there is nothing illegal about the said vaccination. 
He added that only a “handful of soldiers” received the vaccine.
“Don’t complicate things, just as simple as the soldiers protecting the masses would want to be inoculated and they’re able to get some donation on it, and the country [that] provided it has an approved EUA (emergency use authorization). It’s just simple, let’s not complicate things,” he said.
With only a handful of soldiers being vaccinated, Año reiterated that there is no rollout yet as the government has not yet purchased the vaccine.
“These are just a few people (who were vaccinated) so I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Año ended.

Source: Manila Bulletin (