By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Malacañang said Thursday that President Rodrigo Duterte has two choices of coronavirus vaccines he wants to receive against the infectious disease.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte prefers to get vaccinated by live-saving vaccines developed by either China or Russia that would get an approval from the Philippine regulators.

Roque disclosed this after welcoming the study that shows high efficacy rate of Russian vaccine Sputnik V to protect individuals against COVID-19.

“Basta naman aprubado ng ating FDA (Food and Drug Administration), at binigyan ng EUA (Emergency Use Authorization), kukunin po ‘yan ng Presidente,” Roque said during a televised press briefing

“Of course ang sinabi niya ang choice ay Chinese or Russia so that Russian vaccine has always been one of his early choices,” he added.

The Chief Executive initially offered to be the first vaccine recipient publicly to boost the confidence for the inoculation campaign.

However, Duterte changed his mind and decided to be the last receiver and the poor and vulnerable sectors are the first in line. He also preferred to be privately vaccinated since he wants to receive the dose in his buttocks.

Malacañang also cited the study showing the high efficacy rate of Russian vaccine, saying it would contribute in boosting the supply to help the public against the virus. Roque noted the country was negotiating for its supplies from Russian producer.

“We welcome this dahil alam naman natin dahil kulang nga ang supply galing sa western companies, kinakailangan ibsan (sic) ang ating supply sa pag-aangkat galing sa Russia at bansang Tsina (because the supply from the western companies is insufficient, we need to boost our supply by securing them from Russia and China,” he said.

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine reportedly has 92 percent efficacy in protecting people from the developing coronavirus systems based on a study published by the Lancet medical journal. The latest results on the vaccine efficacy were reported following the clinical trials in Moscow hospitals and clinics.

The Sputnik vaccine triggered skepticism last August when Russia announced it has developed the world’s first vaccine.  The use of the vaccine has already received approval from the Russian government late last year.

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