MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday warned the public against buying COVID-19 vaccine brands allegedly being sold on social media and other online selling platforms.
In an advisory, the FDA said that COVID-19 vaccine brands such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna are allegedly being offered online.
But the agency said the scheme is just a “scam” to attract those who prefer the said brands.
“The public is advised that this is a scam which uses online platforms and social media to attract buyers specially those who have preference on the brand of vaccines specifically our countrymen who work abroad (OFWs),” it said.
The FDA said that scammers involved in this scheme are offering the supposed vaccine brands in a promo deal like buy 2 take 1 deal.
“Once you place your order to the online selling platform, the seller will send a chat message and will give his private contact numbers usually Viber, WeChat, or WhatsApp,” the agency said.
“Payment will be requested to be settled thru Gcash or bank transfer prior to the arrangement of delivery. After the payment, another person/number will send a message asking for courier or delivery fee. When the delivery fee has been paid, another person will send a message asking for the payment of insurance fee. No vaccine product will be delivered even when all payments have been settled,” it added.
The FDA reminded that public that COVID-19 vaccines currently available can only be used under emergency authorization and are not for sale. These are also strictly administered and distributed by national healthcare regulators.
The agency reiterated its call to remain vigilant against counterfeit drugs.