Special Envoy to China Mon Tulfo was vaccinated with Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine last year even if it has yet to receive an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Tulfo admitted getting the vaccine in his February 20 column for the Manila Times.
“I now confess to the public: I had myself vaccinated — along with some government officials whose names I won’t mention here — with the Sinopharm vaccine last October,” he said.
Tulfo said he had himself injected with the Sinopharm vaccine because he applied to be one of its distributors in the Philippines.
“I had left instructions with my family that if I died of the vaccine’s side effects, they would announce it to the public. Needless to say, my family hasn’t been vaccinated yet,” he said.
Tulfo was mum about the vaccine’s source. “Don’t ask me where I got the vaccine because I will never tell you,” he said.
Last week, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the arrival of 600,000 doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine in the country might be delayed since the company wants to wait for the FDA’s issuance of an EUA.
The authorization will allow the vaccine to be used legally in the Philippines.
Sinopharm already courted controversy when President Rodrigo Duterte announced that some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) already received the vaccine.
Tulfo said he told Duterte sometime in December last year that he didn’t experience any side effects after being inoculated with the vaccine from Sinopharm. He said his anecdote made the President consider getting the Chinese-made vaccine as well, but presidential aides reportedly discouraged him from doing so.