Rising demand creates black market for Covid-19 vaccines in the Philippines

Soaring demand for Covid-19 vaccines, even though none is officially approved or expected to be delivered in larger numbers yet, has led to the development of a black market for the inoculations in the Philippines, especially among Chinese workers of which many are employed in online casinos catering to gamblers in China, The Washington Post wrote on January 16.

Vaccine doses are sold for up to ten times the $30-price in China on the black market, the report said.

It is estimated that around 100,000 Chinese nationals out of around 500,000 in the country have already been vaccinated, according to advertisements in Chinese media and information from gambling industry worker chat groups.

But the vaccines are not limited to Chinese workers, the report noted, as members of the Philippine military and of the Presidential Security Group had already taken smuggled-in coronavirus vaccine from Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company, without approval from the government and much to the anger of front line health workers who did not receive any shots yet.

“Sabotage” of the government’s official vaccination roll-out

Officials have warned that taking vaccine from the black market does not only post a safety risk, but could sabotage the government’s vaccination program in a way that in case those who receive the vaccines from unregistered sources end up experiencing “unpredictable adverse events,” it may discourage other Filipinos from availing of the vaccine from the government.

Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the country would begin its inoculation program for high-risk individuals and poor families in March. The country’s health authorities have yet to approve the use and sale of any Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

Some Filipinos who do not want to wait for more months are planning to travel abroad because they have a higher chance of getting the vaccine there.  In particular, Filipino holders of a US green are keen on being inoculated in the US where the vaccines are already being rolled out.



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Soaring demand for Covid-19 vaccines, even though none is officially approved or expected to be delivered in larger numbers yet, has led to the development of a black market for the inoculations in the Philippines, especially among Chinese workers of which many are employed in online casinos catering to gamblers in China, The Washington Post wrote on January 16. Vaccine doses are sold for up to ten times the $30-price in China on the black market, the report said. It is estimated that around 100,000 Chinese nationals out of around 500,000 in the country have already been vaccinated, according to...

Soaring demand for Covid-19 vaccines, even though none is officially approved or expected to be delivered in larger numbers yet, has led to the development of a black market for the inoculations in the Philippines, especially among Chinese workers of which many are employed in online casinos catering to gamblers in China, The Washington Post wrote on January 16.

Vaccine doses are sold for up to ten times the $30-price in China on the black market, the report said.

It is estimated that around 100,000 Chinese nationals out of around 500,000 in the country have already been vaccinated, according to advertisements in Chinese media and information from gambling industry worker chat groups.

But the vaccines are not limited to Chinese workers, the report noted, as members of the Philippine military and of the Presidential Security Group had already taken smuggled-in coronavirus vaccine from Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company, without approval from the government and much to the anger of front line health workers who did not receive any shots yet.

“Sabotage” of the government’s official vaccination roll-out

Officials have warned that taking vaccine from the black market does not only post a safety risk, but could sabotage the government’s vaccination program in a way that in case those who receive the vaccines from unregistered sources end up experiencing “unpredictable adverse events,” it may discourage other Filipinos from availing of the vaccine from the government.

Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the country would begin its inoculation program for high-risk individuals and poor families in March. The country’s health authorities have yet to approve the use and sale of any Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

Some Filipinos who do not want to wait for more months are planning to travel abroad because they have a higher chance of getting the vaccine there.  In particular, Filipino holders of a US green are keen on being inoculated in the US where the vaccines are already being rolled out.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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