By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin

Malacañang said Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte prefers to receive coronavirus vaccines from Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm.

“He [President Duterte] has said that his preference is for Sinopharm,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Earlier, Duterte said he prefers to receive jabs developed by Chinese manufacturers. However, he cannot be administered with Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccines because he is not recommended to elderly individuals. The President is now 75 years of age.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Sinovac vaccines will only be given to clinically healthy individuals with ages between 18 to 59 years old.

Last month, Presidential Security Group Commander Jesus Durante III admitted the Duterte’s security personnel had been inoculated with Sinopharm doses — which claimed to be a donation — even the vaccine brand has yet to receive an emergency use authorization from the FDA.

President Duterte said he was not aware that his security detail has been inoculated; however, he earlier revealed that many people in the Philippines have already received China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

The FDA has issued a compassionate use license for 10,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine at the request of the PSG.

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