‘I’ll give you Ivermectin or leave the country’: Duterte tells anti-vaxxers

Published June 22, 2021, 8:10 AM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte gave anti-vaxxers two choices: get anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin or leave the country since they don’t want to join the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his public address on June 21, 2021. (Malacañang photo)

“Ito ‘yong ayaw magpabakuna. Kayong ayaw magpabakuna, ipabakuna ko ‘yong itong sa bakuna ng baboy, ‘yong Ivermectin. Iyon ang ibakuna ko sa kanila (These people who don’t want to get vaccinated. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, I will vaccinate you with the vaccine for pigs, the Ivermectin. That’s what I will put in you),” the President said in his taped public address on Monday night.

The parasitic drug Ivermectin is being used experimentally to treat COVID-19. However, the country’s Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has only approved this as an anti-nematode drug.

It is still not registered in the country for the treatment of COVID-19, although the FDA earlier gave six hospitals compassionate special permits to administer Ivermectin to coronavirus patients.

In a series of expletives, Duterte called on Filipinos who “travel from one place to another, carrying the virus and then contaminating other people,” not to force his hand.

“Strong-arm method ‘yan eh. Walang—walang may gusto niyan. Pero kung hindi kayo magpabakuna, umalis kayo sa Pilipinas. (No one—no one likes it. But if you don’t like to get vaccinated, leave the Philippines) Go to India if you want or somewhere, to America,” he said.

“But for as long as you are here and you are a human being, and can carry the virus, eh magpabakuna ka (get vaccinated),” the President added.

In the same public address, Duterte warned those who refuse to get vaccinated that he will send them to jail.

“Mamili kayo: magpabakuna kayo o ipakulong ko kayo sa selda? (You choose: Get vaccinated or I jail you?),” the Chief Executive said.

Duterte added that he will start asking the barangay captains through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to list down the names of their constituents who don’t want to get the COVID-19 jab.

The latest surveys showed that some 40 percent of Filipinos who are eligible to get the vaccines don’t want to get vaccinated because of fears that the vaccine may be more harmful than getting COVID-19.

“I am just exasperated by, you know, Filipinos not heeding the government. Eh tutal tayo dito wala naman tayong hangarin kung ‘di kabutihan ng ating bayan (All of us here, our goal is for the betterment of the country),” he said.

Calling the health crisis a “national emergency,” Duterte castigated Filipinos for being hard-headed.

As of June 20, more than 8.4 million total doses have been administered, 6.2 million of which are first doses while 2.1 million are fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated is equivalent to 1.96 percent of the entire population.