Palace: Duterte willing to be ‘guinea pig’ for Russia vaccine, but it depends on PSG
MANILA, Philippines — While President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to be the “guinea pig” for a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) developed by Russia, it will still depend on the permission of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), Malacañang said Wednesday.
The President has volunteered to be first to try Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine to see if it is safe for human use.
“It was perfectly fine for him to offer it because that’s his way of telling the people that ‘I want us to have a vaccine and if I have to be the guinea pig for it, I don’t mind’ because that’s the attitude of the President,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
“He can sacrifice his life for the Filipino people. But as to whether or not PSG will actually allow him is a different thing,” he went on.
Roque cited the incident during the President’s previous State of the Nation Address (SONA) where the PSG did not allow him to do handshakes with members of Congress after his speech.
“So it’s difficult to be President because in a way you have limited your free will. PSG is there to guard you and they argue that they are doing their job,” Roque said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that they have developed the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world.
Some experts, however, are skeptical over Russia’s vaccine since it was only tested on dozens of people.
Malacañang assured that even if the Philippines accepts Russia’s offer to provide the COVID-19 vaccine, it will still undergo regulation from the Food and Drug Administration.
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