President Duterte wants to include families of soldiers and policemen in the priority list of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
In a speech in Sulu Friday, the President assured soldiers that they will be one of the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccines for free.
“Iyon talagang mga mahirap na isang tuka, isang kahig. Unahin ko ‘yon pati ‘yung uniformed service kasi paano kung magkasakit itong lahat? (I will prioritize the indigent and the uniformed men because what will happen if they all get sick? How can we function (as) a government with a sick soldier or policeman in your midst?)” he said.
According to the President, he will ask vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to also prioritize the families of the government troops.
“Magpunta ‘yung mga mag-inject sa mga kampo, turukan pati ‘yung mga anak ninyo (Those who will administer the vaccine will go to the camps and vaccinate your children as well),” Duterte said. “So ito lahat, libre ito… para hindi kayo mag-worry (This will be for free so you won’t have to worry),” he added.
Uniformed personnel are the fifth in the priority list of the government’s vaccination program. First are healthcare workers, indigent senior citizens, other senior citizens, and the indigent population.
The government recently procured 25 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac. An initial 50,000 doses from the Chinese drugmaker is expected to arrive next month.
Although Duterte has repeatedly expressed his desire to have the police and the military receive the vaccine first, the government said that the first 50,000 Sinovac vaccines will be given to healthcare workers.
Members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect the President.