Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said he is willing to be publicly inoculated with a coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccine from Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.
In an interview with ANC on Friday, Domagoso admitted that he was hesitant to use the CoronaVac vaccine.
But his view changed after Indonesian President Joko Widodo publicly received a dose of the said vaccine.
“This is now my personal belief, sertipikahan ng FDA at ng mga espesyalista ng ating bansa na ito ay ligtas ay nagkamit ng EUA, ‘yung ano man ‘yung product na ‘yan at kahit saan pa sila nanggaling, at ‘yung mga ating espesyalista, in-affix ang kanilang name and signature there, ituturok ko sa katawan ko (if the Food and Drug Administration and our specialists certify it as safe and if it has secured an Emergency Use Authorization, whatever that product is and wherever it came from, and if our specialists affix their name and signature there, I will inject it in my body),” Domagoso said.
He added, “50 percent protection for my body is still better than zero, if that makes sense,” referring to the supposed efficacy rate of the Sinovac vaccine.
The Manila mayor said he will be vaccinated publicly to encourage the public to do the same.
“Basta, ang gagawin natin, hindi na tayo maggagaling-galingan. Kung ano ang sinertipikihan ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno… ‘yun ‘yung gagamitin natin kung lalanding agad sa’tin (Let’s not act like experts. We will use whatever vaccine that the agencies of the government certify if it lands in the country early),” he said.
Numerous Filipinos and lawmakers questioned the administration’s apparent preference for the Sinovac vaccine, despite it reportedly having a lower efficacy rate and being more expensive compared to other COVID-19 vaccines.
The national government has since denied these claims, saying that they got the vaccines for a much cheaper price and that Filipinos should not be “choosy” with COVID-19 vaccine brands.