Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo got inoculated against the coronavirus disease Tuesday, saying he felt no adverse side effects.
Panelo received the first shot of vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm, the same brand used by President Duterte. The Cabinet member was given the shot in his left arm by a health professional at an undisclosed place in Manila.
“No side effects after the jab, and I’m feeling normal,” Panelo said after his vaccination.
Panelo also appealed to the public to get vaccinated once the opportunity comes, saying the vaccine can help boost their protection against the coronavirus illness.
“Those who still have lingering doubts or fears on the efficacy of any vaccine, should put them to rest. The vaccine will reduce the severity of the virus if by chance we are infected by it. It will save us from certain death and spare us from being brought to the hospital,” he said.
Panelo also urged the public to observe minimum health protocols while waiting for the preferred vaccine.
“Even if we have been inoculated, let us still observe them. It is better to have an abandon of caution than a slew of recklessness or complacency,” he said.
After the vaccination, Panelo pushed through with his daily online program “Counterpoint” that was aired on government television and social media pages Tuesday afternoon. In the program, Panelo renewed his appeal to the public to continue to observe health protocols including wearing of masks and keeping safe distance from others to avoid getting infected.
The vaccination of Secretary Panelo came a day after President Duterte received his vaccine jab at Malago clubhouse Monday night. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III administered the shot on the President’s left arm.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President’s first Sinopharm dose was covered by the compassionate use permit given to the Presidential Security Group hospital by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He denied that the President used a smuggled coronavirus vaccine, insisting Duterte “did not violate any laws.”
He said the President’s vaccine was part of the 1,000 doses recently donated by China. Sinopharm was the brand recommended by the President’s doctor.
Asked about the vaccination of other Cabinet members, Roque said only the President was vaccinated with Sinopharm Monday night.
On Panelo, Roque said the Cabinet member probably got the vaccine since he is a senior citizen. Seniors are included in A4 priority group in the government’s inoculation drive.