COVID-19 vaccines that are expected to arrive in the Philippines amidst a public health crisis are still not available.
According to Quirino Rep. Junie Cua, one of the authors of House Bill 8648, private entities, particularly pharmaceutical firms, are prohibited from selling their anti-COVID-19 vaccines.
He said the bill they submitted to the office of President Rodrigo Duterte could only use the vaccines purchased by private companies for the inoculation of their employees.
COVID-19 vaccines as they enter the Philippines are permitted to be used under the emergency use authority of the Food and Drugs Administration.
The EUA is being issued because the FDA recognizes that these COVID-19 vaccines have not been licensed yet because they are still under development.
This means that such vaccines are not yet commercially available so they cannot be sold yet.
Under the measure, local government units and private entities, in collaboration with the Department of Health and National Task Force Against COVID-19, are allowed to enter into a multiparty agreement with the DPH and the supplier of the vaccine to be purchased.
The purchase, import, storage, transport, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines are exempted from tax.
Most importantly, there will also be a P500 million indemnity fund for those who experience adverse effects on the vaccine.