MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte choice to take a COVID-19 shot from Chinese state firm Sinopharm will boost public confidence in vaccines from China, Malacañang said on Monday.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque made the statement when he was asked to explain why the government told Filipinos to refrain from being choosy with vaccine brands, while Duterte got to choose his preferred brand, which was not yet cleared for emergency use in the Philippines.
"Let’s put it in context. Hindi po namili ang Presidente ng stateside na brand. Ang pinili po niya ay Chinese brand at ang problema natin ngayon, tila marami talagang gusto stateside na mga bakuna," Roque said in a press briefing.
(The President did not choose a stateside brand. He chose a vaccine brand, and our problem now is that many appear to prefer stateside vaccines.)
"I think iyong pagpapabakuna ni Presidente ng Chinese vaccine will also bolster confidence doon sa mga Chinese-made vaccines," he added.
(I think the inoculation of the President with a Chinese vaccine will also bolster confidence in Chinese-made vaccines.)
The Philippines has secured 8.279 million COVID-19 shots, about half of which have been administered as of May 22. Doses from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech account for the bulk of the supply.
A survey released by the Social Weather Stations on Friday revealed about 6 in 10 Filipinos preferred the US as the source of coronavirus vaccines.