President Duterte said Vice President Leni Robredo should get vaccinated with the CoronaVac first if she was in a hurry, saying he will get vaccinated at the right time after getting the go-signal from his doctor.
Duterte made the statement after Robredo said Duterte should be the first person to get vaccinated to ease the public’s concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.
In his speech, President Duterte said Vice President Robredo can go to the front of the line if she was in a hurry.
“Siya man ‘yong apurado, siya ang mauna (She’s the one who is in a hurry, she should go first),” he said Sunday evening.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said last week that 55-year-old Robredo may be qualified to receive the vaccine because of her age if the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 will allow her.
Meanwhile, President Duterte said he was willing to get vaccinated because he is meeting many people but the CoronaVac vaccine was not recommended for those over 59 years old. Duterte will turn 76 on March 28.
“I have to defer to my doctor. But I said, on the matter of getting the vaccine, it is my self-preservation [that] will be at issue. Kailangan kong magpabakuna (I have to be vaccinated),” Duterte said.
“Ano bang problema nila sa bakuna na talagang magpabakuna man ako (What is their problem about the vaccine when I’m really getting vaccinated)? If I do not want to die and get COVID, I should get one,” he added.
Duterte said his doctor was also waiting for another vaccine brand that will be more suitable for him. He, however, refused to specify which vaccine brand they are waiting for.
“She thinks that another brand, I will not mention it, iyon na lang ang hinihintay niya (that is what she is waiting for),” he said.
“As to what brand, iyan ang problema (that is the problem) because it is left to the sound discretion of my doctor,” he added.
President Duterte has agreed to be vaccinated in public but Roque said that the President prefers to receive the vaccine manufactured by Chinese drug maker Sinopharm.
The President is set to start its vaccination program on March 1 following the arrival of the donation of the Chinese government of 600,000 CoronaVac shots, the vaccine manufactured by another Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac.