DOH: Duque will be vaccinated when ‘appropriate’ Covid-19 jab ‘becomes available’
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III will be inoculated when the “appropriate” Covid-19 vaccine “becomes available,” according to the Department of Health (DOH), clarifying what presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has said that the health chief is also expected to get Sinovac.
“To clarify, he will be vaccinated when the appropriate vaccine becomes available, following of course the prioritization framework,” DOH said in a Viber message to reporters on Monday.
The DOH Communications Management Unit also stressed that Duque was not and will not be vaccinated with CoronaVac, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac of China.
“No, SOH (Secretary of Health) was not and will not be vaccinated,” a staff at the DOH Communications Management Unit told reporters in a separate message when asked if Duque was vaccinated against Covid-19 on the first day of the inoculation day.
Duque was among guests on the first day of vaccination at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City.
During the press briefing at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Roque said Duque was expected to get CoronaVac. PGH was among the first hospitals that received a portion of the 600,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine that was donated by China.
“Ang alam ko po si Secretary Duque. Si Secretary Galvez, although as I said, he opted na mauna na muna ‘yung mga frontliners,” Roque said when asked who among the Duterte Cabinet members will be included as beneficiaries of the China-donated Covid-19 jab.
(I know Secretary Duque will get the vaccine. Secretary Galvez will also get vaccinated but he opted that the front liners get inoculated first.)
“Si Secretary Duque po nasa Lung Center, inaasahan rin nating magpapabakuna (Secretary Duque is at the Lung Center. We expect that he will also be vaccinated),” he also said later during the briefing.
On Sunday night, DOH said 64-year-old Duque will not get Sinovac’s CoronaVac because of the age restriction recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the vaccine made in China.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo earlier said CoronaVac should only be administered to clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59, as the vaccine showed higher efficacy rates in this age group based on clinical trials in Indonesia and Turkey.
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