Vaccinate hesitant folk while asleep? Duterte only joking, says spokesman

Duterte President Rodrigo Duterte said that individuals hesitant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine should be inoculated while asleep. blame for vax shortage

President Duterte during one fo the Palace briefings. FILE PHOTO / MALACAÑANG

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte was only joking when he earlier threatened to have hesitant individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 while asleep, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday.

“Joke lang po ‘yun, kayo naman oh. Syempre naman ‘no, ang tagal ng mga pagpupulong namin sa Talk to the People. Ang nakikita niyo kapiraso lang po,” Roque said during the Palace briefing.

(That was only a joke. Our meetings in Talk to the People are lengthy. What you see are only parts of it.)

“Mahahaba ‘yung mga meetings na ‘yun. Para hindi kami makatulog, kailangan naman may konting joke,” he added.

(Those meetings are long. We need some joke to keep us up.)

Duterte made the remark during his weekly briefing aired on Tuesday as he noted that many Filipinos are still hesitant on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The President said that hesitant individuals in every barangay should be identified and be given a vaccine shot while sleeping at night.

As of October 13, the government fully vaccinated 23.7 million individuals or 30.8 percent of the 77 million target population.

As of October 11, the government reported that some 23.1 million individuals or 30 percent of the 77 million target population are fully vaccinated againt COVID-19.


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