Duterte tells well-off Filipinos to give way to indigents in COVID-19 vaccination

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2021 04:52 PM

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President Rodrigo Duterte urged well-to-do Filipinos to give way to the poor in the COVID-19 vaccination drive. 

The novel coronavirus can spread quickly in slums, where houses are crowded and where residents "tend to forget the protocols," Duterte said in a speech that aired on Tuesday. 

In "well-off subdivisions," residents can easily isolate and close the house and then request just somebody, an outsider, to buy the food and things like that," he said. 

"Kung may mga subdivisions na medyo nalagay sa upper, pahuli muna kayo. Tutal kung gusto ninyo makabili rin kayo. But then again, I said you have so many things in your hands to protect you," Duterte said. 

(If there are subdivisions in the upper class, go last. Anyway you can buy that.)

"Wala akong ano (I have no)—you will get the vaccines in due time," he added. 

Duterte told vaccine "czar" Carlito Galvez Jr that if indigent Filipinos would have difficulty going to vaccination centers, authorities should "enter the place, and do the vaccination there." 

Authorities aim to start the vaccination of around 12 million essential workers and some 16 million indigents after May or when the supply of COVID-19 shots becomes "steady," Galvez said in a separate press briefing on Tuesday. 

The A4 will get COVID-19 shots from the supply procured by the government, while the A5 will receive jabs from vaccine-sharing platform COVAX Facility, he said. 

The Philippines has so far received 7.779 million COVID-19 shots, the bulk of which is from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech. Authorities have administered at least 2,959,829 of these doses.