Duque to try his best in convincing Duterte to get publicly vaccinated
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he would try his best to persuade President Rodrigo Duterte into receiving the Covid-19 vaccine before the public eye.
During the Senate hearing into the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program, Senator Nancy Binay asked Duque if he would be willing to convince the president to be publicly vaccinated in order to encourage Filipinos to have themselves inoculated, too.
This, as Binay cited a recent Pulse Asia survey showing that nearly 50 percent of Filipinos are apprehensive of being vaccinated against Covid-19 due to safety concerns.
“We will try our best to convince the president to perhaps publicly allow himself to be vaccinated but we will respect his ultimate decision whatever it is,” Duque said in response to Binay’s question.
Earlier, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the 75-year-old chief executive wants to be vaccinated in private.
Sotto willing to go first
Binay likewise asked the health chief if the government plans to have celebrities as “endorsers” to relay to the public the safety and need for vaccination.
In jest, Duque said Binay, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and other senators could perhaps join him and other officials in getting inoculated.
“Si Senator Nancy Binay po siguro ang aming aanyayahan kung pwedeng magpabakuna. Si Senate President Sotto, lahat po ng mga senador, sasabayan po namin kayo,” he said.
(I think Senator Nancy Binay, I think we can invite her to get inoculated. Senate President Sotto and all of the senators, we will join you.)
Sotto, in response, said he would be willing to go first so long as no one would question why he would do so.
“Payag akong mauna as long as walang aangal, baka may aangal na naman ‘pag nagpapauna ako e,” the Senate president said.
(I’m willing to go first as long as no one would question why I went first, I know somebody will complain if I get vaccinated first.)
“Tama po kayo, baka sabihin VIP na naman,” Duque commented.
(You’re right, they might say you’re being treated like a VIP.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.