Duterte to get vaccine jab via buttocks — Roque

 By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

PHOTO: Rappler/Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte will be given the COVID-19 vaccine in the buttocks as to why he will get inoculated behind close doors, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday.

"Sabi nga niya dahil sa pwet siya magpapasaksak, so hindi pupwedeng public," the spokesman said in a regular press briefing. 

In his earlier pronouncement, Roque said the chief executive is willing to get inoculated of first shot of CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine made by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.

“Opo [Yes]. And his answer was ‘no problem, I will take the vaccine as soon as it is available’,” he said. 

“Pero ang sabi niya, hindi na kinakailangang ipakita ito sa publiko,” Roque further explained, noting the President will be taking a private route similar to that of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh when they got vaccinated against the disease.

Roque reiterated that it is Duterte’s “personal decision” to keep his vaccination against Covid-19 private, and so, it does not need further explanation. 

The president has expressed his preference for CoronaVac or Sputnik V, the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Russia.

Vice President Leni Robredo, however, declared that she is willing to be vaccinated before the public to to allay fears and encourage Filipinos to get immunized against Covid-19.

Her spokesman, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, reiterated this Wednesday, January 20, in an apparent response to the challenge of long-time Duterte aide-turned-senator, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go.

“As early as the first week of December, VP Leni already declared her willingness to receive the vaccine in public to encourage all Filipinos to get vaccinated,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

In Robredo's perspective, the government should prioritize ensuring a “safe, effective, and affordable” Covid-19 vaccine for “as many Filipinos as possible,” according to Gutierrez.

“She is more than ready to do her part in attaining these goals,” he said.

On Tuesday, January 19, Go dared the Vice President to get inoculated – alongside him and President Rodrigo Duterte – in public in order to inspire public trust in the Covid-19 vaccine. This comes after Robredo said vaccinating Duterte first against the new coronavirus disease will help boost the public’s confidence in the government’s inoculation drive.

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