President Duterte won’t be among the first to get the Sinovac vaccine donated by China.The President said he is willing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus for “self-preservation” but will still wait for the arrival of another brand in the country.
Even as he welcomed the arrival of the country’s first supply of Sinovac vaccines from China at the Manila airport Sunday, the President bared that his doctor has advised him to take another brand of the coronavirus vaccine given his old age.
The 75-year-old Duterte did not mention the vaccine brand but the Palace previously said the President prefers to take the other Chinese-developed vaccine, Sinopharm. Duterte turns 76 on March 28.
“In the matter of getting the vaccine, it is to my advantage. It is to my self-interest that I should get one. No doubt about it. As to what brand, iyan ang problema (that’s the problem) because it is left to the sound discretion of my doctor,” he said during a press briefing Sunday, Feb. 28.
“Kami ‘yong mga 70 we have to be careful. Ako naman may doktor ako sarili. She thinks that another brand, I will not mention it, iyon na lang ang hinihintay ko — sabi niya hinihintay niya — hinihintay ko (We 70 years old and above, we have to be careful. I have a doctor. She thinks that another brand, I will not mention it, that’s what she and I are waiting for),” he said.
Duterte recognized the importance of getting the vaccine to boost protection against the coronavirus to protect himself and other people he interacts with.
“On the matter of getting the vaccine, it is my self-preservation that will be at issue. Kailangan kong magpabakuna (I need to be vaccinated),” he said. “But I cannot just out of the box vaccine simply because I have to take care of my age,” he said.
In some countries, he mentioned that senior citizens are no longer vaccinated either “because they are nearing death or about to die or it could be useless to give them the vaccine because anyway, they won’t live long.” “I really do not know the rationale of the whole thing,” he said.
While he is ready to get inoculated, Duterte dismissed calls for him to take the vaccine first. He insisted the vaccination rollout does not need any drama.
“Ano bang problema nila sa bakuna na talagang magpabakuna man ako? (What is their problem with the vaccine which I will have to get anyway?) If I do not want to die and get COVID, I should get one,” he said. “I go around a lot. I meet so many people on any given trip outside.”
“Eh bakit dadramahin pa ‘yang sinong mauna, sinong… Ako magpabakuna. Ang problema ang doktor ko may hinihintay (Why dramatize who should be vaccinated first? I will get vaccinated. The problem is my doctor is waiting for something else),” Duterte said.