MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the head of his security team said on Friday.
Duterte received his second jab of the coronavirus vaccine from Chinese state firm Sinopharm 14 days after he took the first, Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante said in an interview with the state television network.
The President took his first Sinopharm jab on May 3, when the vaccine had not yet secured emergency use authorization from the Philippine drug regulator.
"Si Pangulo po ay vaccinated na po siya, at napakahalaga po nito, para lalo namin siyang maingatan, lalo na magagawa niya nang maayos at tuloy-tuloy ang kaniyang tungkulin, upang makapaglingkod sa ating mga kababayan," said Durante.
(The President is already vaccinated, and this is very important so that we can take protect him more, he will be able to do his role more continuously to serve our compatriots.)
"We never put our guards down from the very beginning. And we are proud to say that the President remains safe from the virus," he added.
The World Health Organization recommends an interval of 3–4 weeks between the first and second dose of Sinopharm's vaccine.
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration on June 7 cleared for emergency use 1,000 Sinopharm shots that China donated, including the jab for Duterte.
"Go with Durante," the President's spokesman Harry Roque said, when asked to confirm if the President has been fully inoculated against the novel coronavirus.
"Durante has personal knowledge of 2nd shot," he later added in a text message.