MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has received his second COVID-19 shot, allowing him to complete his coronavirus inoculation, some 2 months after he received his first jab, Malacañang said on Monday.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III administered what appeared to be the second vaccine dose to Duterte, as seen in photos shared online by his former longtime aide Sen. Christopher Go.
"I confirm that PRRD (Duterte) had his second dose of Sinopharm tonight before his meeting with select members of the IATF (inter-agency task force on COVID-19)," Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a message to reporters.
Officials said Duterte received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm on May 3. A video and photo of the supposed inoculation were released to the media.
The donated supplies of Sinopharm's vaccine candidate, from which Duterte's supposed first dose was sourced, was granted emergency use authorization by the Philippines' drug regulator over a month later.
The World Health Organization recommends an interval of 3–4 weeks between the first and second dose of Sinopharm's vaccine.
In June, the head of Duterte's security team said he already got his second dose. But Malacañang clarified the aide was "mistakenly informed."
Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said on June 28 he did not know why the President had yet to get his second jab at that time.
"It could be, because alam ko nagpa-test na siya sa antibodies niya, mataas daw. But anyway, I don’t know. We will just be speculating," he said in a press briefing.
(It could be, because I know he got tested for antibodies, the level was high.)
Duterte last month told Filipinos to make time and go back for their second jab.