- President Duterte once again agreed to get the COVID vaccine once available
- However, it would happen only in private much like what Queen Elizabeth did
- The President earlier changed his mind about getting the vaccine first
President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to be inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine but such would not happen in public, according to Palace spokesperson Harry Roque.
The latest pronouncement from Malacañan came after Vice President Leni Robredo said the president, owing to his high popularity, should be the first to be inoculated in order to allay public fear and distrust of the vaccine, especially those coming from China.
While Roque earlier said Duterte would not hesitate to do this, even in public if needed, he also appealed to wait for the president’s personal decision.
On Tuesday, the Palace mouthpiece again announced Duterte agreed to get the COVID vaccine once available. However, it will be done only private like what Queen Elizabeth did.
“His answer was, ‘no problem. I will take the vaccine as soon as it is available’. Dahil siya nga daw po ay talagang kailangan niyang magkaroon ng bakuna [Because he also needs the vaccine],” Roque told reporters during a press briefing.
“Pero ang sabi niya, hindi na kinakailangang ipakita ito sa publiko [But he said, it doesn’t have to be shown in public]. He’s taking the route of the British sovereign,” Roque added; referring to Queen Elizabeth, who chose to be inoculated in private.
Several months back, Duterte, who is now 75, bravely announced in a television address he would volunteer to be the first to get inoculated just to show the public that the vaccine, which was then assumed to be coming from Russia and China, are safe.
Last week, however, he changed his mind and said he decided to be the last to be vaccinated along with other top officials in order to give priority to those who need it more.