As Davao shuns China-made jabs, Duterte tells Pinoys: 'You get what is available'

When it comes to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, you will get what is available.

(Mark Balmores/ File Photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

President Duterte gave this reminder to Filipinos Wednesday, Sept. 22 amid reports coming from his home city of Davao that the people there have been showing low acceptability of COVID-19 jabs from China.

This information has been passed on to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), through the media, by Presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

"Lahat yan bakuna na yan effective. Lahat yan pinag-aralan (All of those vaccines are effective. All of them underwent study), Duterte said during his late night "Talk to the People" public briefing.

He reported that over 940,000 doses of the American-made Pfizer vaccines arrived in the country earlier that evening. Pfizer is widely perceived to be the most preferred vaccine brand in the Philippines

But the President didn't want to hear about this preference. "Itong brand na ito mas mabisa daw (They claim that this brand is more effective). Do not give me that...," he said, scoffing.

"You do not have the luxury of choice, if that is the proper advice I can give," Duterte said.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his "Talk to the People" public briefing on Wednesday night, Sept. 22, 2021. (Screenshot from Facebook live)

Although not referring to the case of Davao or any particular location for that matter, the President said that he simply can't prioritize giving Pfizer doses to a certain city due to supply problems.

"If you give the Pfizer to one city, eh sabihin ng iba, 'Bakit kami pala dito sa another city'...tapos kulang kaya amg supply. So maibigay ko sa isang siyudad sa isang probinsya. Hindi pwede yan (The others will say, 'How about us in the other city'...and then we have a supply shortage. So that means I could only give it to one city of province. You can't do that).

"Sabi ko, pareho yang lahat. Wag kayong mamili. Kung ano nandyan ipadala sa inyo (I said, they're all the same. Don't choose. You get what is available)," Duterte said.

The former longtime Davao Mayor said he has ordered National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. to "mix it up" when transporting the life-saving jabs to different parts of the country.

"Haluin mo yan lahat. Dito magkuha ka ng limang boxes, dito...wag kayong mamili (Mix the vaccine brands together. Get five boxes here and there...don't chose)," Duterte said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had earlier reacted to Mayor Duterte-Carpio's revelation of the low acceptability of China-scourced vaccines among Dabawenyos.

“On behalf of IATF, sino bang may ayaw ng western brands? Ang problema lang, talagang hindi natin nakukuha ang supply (who doesn’t want western brands? The problem is, we really aren’t getting the supply),” Roque said