FDA says Covid-19 vaccination is not mandatory

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has clarified that Covid-19 vaccination is not mandatory and Filipino will not be forced to undergo it,

Reacting to certain social media posts urging Filipinos not to take any Covid-19 vaccine amidst safety issues, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said no one can be forced to submit himself to vaccination against his will.

“No one can be forced to be vaccinated. You can’t be forced and we can’t be mandatory, when we take the shot we must understand completely the benefits and adverse events, its side effects or risks,” Domingo said in a recent virtual media forum.

Domingo said the Department of Health (DOH) plans to undertake an education campaign that will explain the purpose, benefits, and risks of Covid-19 vaccination to help the public make an informed decision on the issue.

“We would like to assure the public we take it very seriously. We will make sure that the benefits will outweigh the risk more than anything before giving the emergency use authorization for any vaccine,” he said.

President Duterte recently signed Executive Order No. 121 allowing Domingo to issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Covid-19 drug and vaccine makers.

Domingo said pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, US biotech firm Moderna, Sinovac, and Sinofarm could be the first ones to apply to the country for a EUA since they have similar authorizations from other countries.

If ever a Covid-19 vaccine gets cleared and distributed in the country, Domingo said the DOH and the DFA would implement a strict post-authorization monitoring on the people who would take it. 

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