Duterte dares Robredo to get vaccinated first

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday dared Vice President Leni Robredo to get vaccinated first as she is more qualified to get inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech.

Duterte made the dare in response to Robredo’s earlier call for him to get vaccinated first to boost the public’s confidence in the vaccine.

Duterte said that while he wants to get immunized against Covid-19 he is still waiting for his doctor’s clearance on which vaccine brand to get.

“Siya [Robredo] man ‘yong apurado, siya ang mauna. Ako, I cannot just decide. She’s young, I am not. I have to defer to my doctor,” Duterte said in a press conference after the turnover of the Sinovac vaccines.

(She should get vaccinated first. Me, I cannot just decide. She’s young, I am not. I have to defer to my doctor.)

“Eh bakit dadramahin pa ‘yang sinong mauna, sinong… Ako magpabakuna. Ang problema ang doktor ko may hinihintay,” he added.

(Why is who is getting vaccinated first an issue? I will get vaccinated. The problem is that my doctor is waiting for something.)

Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez earlier said Robredo is willing to be vaccinated in public to encourage Filipinos to get immunized against Covid-19.

President Duterte said he has to be wary of the vaccine he will get since he will be turning 77 years old next month. The Sinovac vaccine is only recommended for clinically healthy individuals between the ages of 18 to 59 years old.

Duterte said he is waiting for another brand of vaccine which he did not identify. He said he has requested to have a personal supply of a particular vaccine brand.

“Ako naghingi ako, personal. Wala silang stock. Nanghingi ako para sa pamilya ko pati sa ‘kin. I do not know if we would have enough vaccines for everybody, but I think I can accommodate itong Cabinet members,” he said.

Malacañang earlier disclosed that the President prefers to get the vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Sinopharm.

Sinopharm has yet to file an application for an emergency use authorization with the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).