Emulating Queen Elizabeth: Palace says Duterte to take COVID-19 vaccine in private

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2021 03:58 PM | Updated as of Jan 19 2021 04:13 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on January 18, 2021. Simeon Celi, Presidential Photo

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte believes it is not necessary to have his COVID-19 vaccination in public, a move that could boost public trust in the jabs, Malacañang said on Tuesday. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he asked the President last night about receiving the first vaccine shots that will arrive in the country. 

“His answer was, ‘No problem, I will take the vaccine as soon as it is available' dahil siya nga daw po ay kailangan niyang magkaroon ng bakuna," he told reporters in an online briefing.

“Pero ang sabi niya, hindi na kinakailangan ipakita ito sa publiko.” 

(He said he needs to have the vaccine. But he said, it does not need to be shown in public.) 

Duterte "is taking the route" of the Britain's Queen Elizabeth and her husband to take the COVID-19 shots in private, said Roque. 

The 75-year-old Duterte, who has underlying health issues, belongs to the groups vulnerable of developing severe symptoms of the respiratory disease. 

Roque earlier denied that Duterte has been vaccinated against COVID-19 together with members of his security team who last year took unauthorized doses. 

"Haka-haka lang po iyan," said Roque. 

(That is just speculation.)

Malacañang will let the public know once Duterte has gotten the anti-coronavirus jabs.

“Sobrang popular ni Pangulo, so makakatulong sana to boost ‘yung confidence ng ating mga kababayan kung makita siya [magpabakuna],” Vice President Leni Robredo had said over the weekend. 

(The President is very popular, so it will help boost the confidence of our compatriots if they see him being vaccinated.)

Other world leaders like incoming US President Joe Biden, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were vaccinated against COVID-19. Singapore's leader even shared a video of his vaccination. 

Video courtesy of PTV