MANILA — Filipinos cannot choose the brand of the COVID-19 vaccine that they will get from the national government, Malacañang said on Monday, as recent surveys revealed public hesitancy to join the inoculation drive.
Those who are on the vaccination priority list can sign a waiver if they do not want to get the vaccine assigned to them. They will then lose their slot in the list, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
"Wala pong pilian, wala po kasing pilitan... Tama lang naman po 'yan, walang pilian kasi hindi naman natin mako-control talaga kung ano'ng darating at libre po ito," he told reporters in an online briefing.
(There will be no options because no one will be forced to get vaccinated. That is just right, there will be no choosing because we cannot control which vaccines get to us and this is free.)
"Totoo po, meron tayong lahat na karapatan para sa mabuting kalusugan pero hindi naman po pwede na pihikan dahil napakaraming Pilipino na dapat turukan," he added.
(it is true, we all have a right to good health, but one cannot be choosy there are many Filipinos who need to be vaccinated.)
Authorities have reached a "consensus" on this matter, although the inter-agency task force leading the country's pandemic response has yet to issue a resolution, said Roque.
The government has secured vaccine supply deals with China's Sinovac, UK drug group AstraZeneca, and the Serum Institute of India.
The Philippines is negotiating with seven vaccine manufacturers to procure at least 148 million COVID-19 shots as it seeks to inoculate close to two-thirds of its population this year. Thirty-five million Filipinos are on the inoculation priority list, authorities earlier said.