Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte wants to get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine in his buttocks, making it impossible for the shot to be given in public, officials said on Wednesday.
“Let’s respect that,’’ Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.
“His decision can be likened to the decision of the monarchy of England, the queen of England did not want to be vaccinated in full view of the public.’’
“The important question is, will there be an effect if a person is vaccinated in the buttocks,’’ Duque added.
“Its the same, there is no effect at all.’’
Critics have hit out at Duterte’s preference to get the shots in his buttocks as an excuse not to show to the public what vaccine he will receive amid concerns over the safety of the shots being purchased by the government.
There was also speculation that he has already received a vaccine made by a Chinese manufacturer, which has been denied by his spokesmen.
To assure the public of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, Duque said the government official in charge of purchasing vaccines, Carlito Galvez Jr, has expressed his willingness to be inoculated in public.
“We are willing to be vaccinated but we hope that when this happens, we will not be subjected to criticisms like we got VIP treatment,’’ he said.
The government hopes to begin its COVID-19 vaccination drive in February.
It has so far signed contracts for vaccine purchases with AstraZeneca/Oxford University, Sinovac and Novovax, which all are yet to receive emergency use authorisation in the Philippines. (dpa/NAN)