PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to be vaccinated once the supply lands on Philippine shores. However, he doesn’t seem amenable to the idea of making a public display of the actual inoculation.
Claiming to have been in constant communication with the President, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that vaccination on Duterte would be made behind closed doors but hinted on making an immediate update once the vaccine had been administered.
Responding to questions about the President’s willingness to take the first shot of CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine made by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, Roque said that the President had told him that taking vaccine shots poses no problem to Duterte.
“No problem, I will take the vaccine as soon as it is available.”
Roque further claimed that the President, who is turning 76 years old this year, knows he has to be inoculated against COVID-19.
“But he said it does not have to be shown to the public. He is taking the route of the British sovereign because the decision of Queen Elizabeth and her husband was to make their vaccination private,” he added.
Duterte has expressed his preference for CoronaVac or Sputnik V, the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Russia.
The Philippines is expected to receive next month the first 50,000 doses of the 25 million doses of CoronaVac it is planning to buy.
Also expected next month is the first batch of the vaccine made by the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The Pfizer vaccine is the first to be granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).