President Duterte said he has no plans of getting vaccinated anytime soon, if he can help it.
Speaking during his televised public address, Mr. Duterte said he would be willing to give his slot in the vaccine line to anybody interested.
He said the vaccine reserved for him should be given to somebody who is young as he still has several years ahead of him.
“If anybody wants to have it, they can have it. We are not in the priority anyway,” he said during the televised public briefing.
(This statement is totally untrue as senior citizens or the elderly are Number 2 in the vaccination priority list, after doctors, nurses, health workers and other front liners.)
Published reports claimed this sentiment of Duterte may have been caused by the initial announcement of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the Sinovac vaccine, which the government has been irrationally promoting in spite of its low efficacy rate, not be given to seniors, which was later retracted.
In January 2021, a survey conducted by the respected Octa research group showed that only 19 percent of Filipinos are willing to be vaccinated.
Duterte’s statement effectively throws cold water on hopes by government health officials that he be vaccinated in public to boost the low vaccine acceptance of Filipinos, as well as the sagging image of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine.
Malacanang had said Mr. Duterte prefers the vaccine produced by the state-owned Sinopharm firm which has so far failed to submit requirements needed for issuance of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA.
Although members of the president’s personal security detail, the Presidential Security Group, admittedly received unauthorized Sinopharm doses in September 2020.
PHOTO: Presidential Communications