Duterte agrees to get vaccinated in public

Published February 15, 2021, 2:45 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has agreed to have himself inoculated in public to boost the people’s confidence in the efficacy of authorized vaccines in providing immunity and protection from the infectious coronavirus disease.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on February 8, 2021. (SIMEON CELI / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the announcement as the Philippines await the arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines sometime this month.

In his Monday presser, Roque urged the public to just wait for the President’s announcement about when he will be inoculated.

“I think the President has said that he will now have himself vaccinated publicly. He only has to announce when it will be done,” he said.

“The President has said, ‘Okay, if you want me to and there’s public clamor…’ he said he will,” he added.

Duterte made the decision to ease the public’s apprehension about getting vaccinated.

“That (President Duterte’s decision) is, of course, in recognition of the fact na nag-aantay ng senyales ang taumbayan kung talagang sila ay magpapabakuna o hindi (the public is waiting for a sign if they should get the vaccine or not),” he said.

“Ninanais po ni Presidente na lahat ng mga Pilipino ay magkaroon ng kompyansa na magpabakuna dahil ang bakuna po ang solusyon dito sa pandemya ng COVID-19 (The President wants all Filipinos to have confidence in getting the vaccine because it is the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic),” he added.

Duterte has expressed willingness to be the first Filipino to receive a vaccine jab in the Philippines.

Last month, Roque said the President will receive the vaccine in private and will be injected into his buttocks.

Public officials

Meanwhile, Roque said that some government officials have expressed willingness to be among the first people to get the vaccine jab to boost the public’s confidence.

However, he appealed to the administration’s critics to not make a big deal out of the said gesture because the government officials only want to help.

“I think that is a policy that we will now pursue… Yung ibang mga (Some) public officials should volunteer and they have, in fact, volunteered. LGU (Local government unit) mayors have said that they will volunteer to be the first in line for the vaccination,” Roque said.

“Ang aking ine-emphasize lang, ‘wag naman po kapag nauna ang mga namumuno ay sasabihing VIP na naman. Gagawin lang natin ‘yan dahil nga kinakailangan mapataas natin yung kompyansa ng ating mga kababayan na magpabakuna (I just want to emphasize that don’t accuse us of giving VIP treatment. We are only doing this because we need to boost the public’s confidence in the vaccine),” he added.

President Duterte has made known his preference for either the Chinese or Russian COVID-19 vaccine but neither has been given the emergency use authorization (EUA).