After initially offering to get inoculated against the coronavirus first, President Duterte is now willing to be among the last to get the coronavirus vaccine in the country.
The President said he would let the frontline workers, the poor, and the uniformed personnel get the priority in getting inoculated against the coronavirus illness once the vaccines become available.
“Kasama kayo mga sundalo natin, kasama sa priority. Mauna talaga ‘yung pobre, yung wala talaga. Tapos kayo. halos. Kung milyon ‘yan, magsabay-sabay na kayo at saka huli na kami (The soldiers will be among the priority. The poor, those with nothing, will be the first, followed by you. If the vaccines are millions, you can simultaneously get it. We’ll be the last),” he said during a televised address Wednesday night.
“Kung may maiwan para sa amin kay (Senator) Bong (Go), kay (Defense Secretary Delfin) Lorenzana, kung may maiwan eh di para sa atin (If there will be vaccines left for us, Senator Bong, Lorenzana, if there is something left, that will be for us),” he added.
As the government steps up the acquisition of vaccines, the President has pledged that all Filipinos would be vaccinated but the government will employ certain geographical and sectoral strategy in the immunization program.
Frontline health workers will be first in line to get inoculated “to preserve and protect our healthcare system,” according to the President.
The next on the priority list would be the poor and vulnerable sectors, other frontliners, and essential public and private workers including overseas Filipino workers and low-income earners.
“Wala itong diskriminasyon (there is no discrimination),” Duterte said about the distribution of the vaccines.
“All will have their vaccines. I assure you. Mayroon lang tayong unahin — yung mga kawawa,” he added.
Shortly after Russia offered to supply vaccines to the Philippines last year, the President volunteered to take the first vaccine shot as a gesture of trust and gratitude to Moscow.
He later quipped that he was willing to get inoculated in public to boost confidence in vaccines.
Recently, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President wanted to be vaccinated by both drugs made by China and Russia.
But since this is not possible, Roque said Duterte might receive the vaccine shot developed by China since it is expected to be the first vaccine to arrive in the country this year.