The Department of Health (DoH) is considering legal action against doctors selling and injecting people with the “Fabunan” antiviral vaccine.
The DOH said those behind the unregistered vaccine could lose their medical license and face other charges.
“We are studying the case,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has earlier issued a cease and desist order against the use of the Fabunan vaccine.
Vergeire said the manufacturer of the Fabunan vaccine had not applied for a certified product registration (CPR) from the FDA.
Vergeire said FDA has jurisdiction over non-registration of drugs or medicine while the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) supervises medical professionals.
A recent social media video claiming the Fabunan vaccine was “proven to treat COVID-19” had gone viral.
Other posts showed the Fabunan vaccine, which costs about P3,000, being given to Zambales residents.
Since Fabunan is unregistered, health officials said it is illegal to sell, distribute, promote or advertise its use.
Meanwhile, Vergeire said the Philippines will be joining the Avigan clinical trial amid doubts over its efficacy as a COVID-19 treatment.
Vergeire said it is too early to conclude if Avigan is ineffective or not.
Evidence of Avigan’s efficacy is lacking at this time because trials are still ongoing.
Japan has started using the anti-influenza drug to treat COVID-19 patients and the Philippine government expressed willingness to participate in clinical trials by tapping 100 volunteer patients infected with the coronavirus.