A healthcare expert in the Philippines has warned the public to stay away from an unauthorized vaccine against the Coronavirus caused disease amid the supposed presence of a made-in-China product in the South-east Asian country.

Molecular biologist Dr. Edsel Salvana from the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group said in a media forum on Sunday, December 27, that taking an unapproved and unregulated vaccine could be "very, very dangerous".

"I urge everyone to stay away from those, kasi (because) you are literally putting your life at risk if you take unregulated medicine, especially COVID-19 vaccine," he warned.

Dr. Edsel Salvana
Dr. Edsel Salvana, Molecular Biologist Facebook/ Dr. Edsel Salvana

Possible Dangers

Dr. Salvana is an infectious diseases physician. Earlier, he discovered that the driving force behind the AIDS epidemic in the Philippines was the entry and spread of a deadlier strain of HIV -- a situation that can easily occur anywhere in the world. Recently, he listed down the possible dangers of getting an unapproved COVID-19 vaccine, including the lack of knowledge about the shot, which according to him would make it difficult for healthcare professionals to treat people who might experience some reactions.

Dr. Salvana said if someone experiences a bad reaction to such vaccines since there will be no information about what was given to the person, doctors will also have no idea about further treatment.

Vaccine in the Philippines

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine (representational image)

During a recent meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force and other health experts, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte said that "many" citizens in the country have already received a vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm company.

Reports of such vaccination activities in places like Makati and Binondo appeared in early December. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Philippines said that raids had been conducted in those places, but no arrests were made. Even the Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin Jr. said that he had received a complaint from China regarding the reported presence of the Sinopharm vaccine in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Senator Francis Pangilinan said that it would have been better if Duterte had threatened China not to sell the Philippines "more expensive yet less than effective" vaccines than warning the US of a defense pact termination over vaccines.

He made the comments while reacting to Duterte's recent remarks that he would continue with the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) if the US failed to provide the Philippines with at least 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. In a tweet, he wrote, "Perhaps our citizens would be better off if he instead threatened China not to sell us more expensive yet less than effective or inferior vaccines."