Sudden change of tune: Duterte getting 1st Covid-19 jab not ruled out, says Palace
MANILA, Philippines — The possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte being the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Philippines is not ruled out despite his remarks that government officials will be last, Malacañang said Thursday.
“Hindi pa po iyan sigurado ‘no. Sinabi po niya iyon kagabi dahil ang mensahe niya dapat mauna talaga ang mga dukha, ang mga mahirap na mabigyan ng proteksiyon,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.
(That’s still uncertain. He said that last night because his message is the poor should be first to be given protection.)
“Pero kung talagang kinakailangan na mauna ang Presidente para magkaroon ng kumpiyansa ang taumbayan, hindi ko naman po sinasabing imposibleng mangyari pa rin iyon dahil sinabi nga niya noon na mauuna siyang magpabakuna,” he added.
(But if the President has to be first to give confidence to the public, I’m not saying it’s impossible for that to happen because he already previously said he would be first.)
During a pre-recorded speech aired Wednesday, Duterte said medical frontliners would be prioritized in the vaccination.
“Pagdating ng ano, kung milyon ‘yan, magsabay-sabay na kayo lahat, at saka huli na kami. Kung may maiwan, para sa amin,” the President said.
(Once it arrives, if that’s in millions, vaccinate them all and we’ll be last. If there’s any left, it would be for us.)
A recent Pulse Asia survey showed that nearly half of Filipinos do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 due to safety concerns.
In Indonesia, President Joko Widodo received the country’s first Covid-19 jab to kick off its mass vaccination drive.
Other world leaders already vaccinated against Covid-19 are incoming US President Joe Biden and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
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