Palace: Duterte can choose vaccine brand because ‘he’s the President, over 70 yrs. old’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte gets to choose which COVID-19 vaccine brand to receive simply because of his position as chief executive and his age, Malacañang said Thursday.
“Well you know, I think the President is the President and because he is over 70 years old ‘no,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said when asked why Duterte may choose his preferred vaccine brand. Duterte is turning 77 years old this month.
Roque has said Duterte prefers to get the vaccine developed by China state-owned Sinopharm and is even willing to wait for its vaccine to get an emergency use authorization before receiving it.
But now that the AstraZeneca vaccine is arriving in the country, Roque said he would ask Duterte if he wants to be vaccinated with this instead.
“I will ask if he will consider AstraZeneca because in other countries ‘no, wala namang limitation on the use of AstraZeneca,” Roque said.
When AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine secured an EUA in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration said it can be given to people 18 years old and older unlike the Sinovac vaccine recommended only for those aged 18 to 59.
The Philippines will receive Thursday night some 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.
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