By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Senator Bong Go

President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to the public on Wednesday for choosing to be vaccinated with Sinopharm, a vaccine that has yet to be cleared for emergency use in the country.

In his second national address for this week, Duterte said he already asked the Chinese Ambassador to withdraw the shipment of donated 1,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines and deliver Sinovac instead.

He added the vaccine was also used in Brazil, and that his doctors have told him to get vaccinated.

"We are sorry for the things you are criticizing us for, we accept responsibility," Duterte said. "We are sorry, you are right, we are wrong,” he said.

"Sabi ko tanggalin mo na lang. You withdraw all Sinopharm vaccines - 1,000 of them - 'wag ka na lang magpadala ng Sinopharm dito para walang gulo,” he added.

Meanwhile, Duterte assured the public that recalling the 1,000 vaccine doses “would not make a dent” on the country’s supply. Sinovac has already secured an emergency use from the FDA while the Sinopharm only has a “compassionate use permit” allotted for the Presidential Security Group (PSG).

Six vaccine brands have so far secured an emergency use before the FDA, namely AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Covaxin.

As of Wednesday, May 5, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,073,555 COVID-19 cases, 993,042 recoveries, and 17,800 deaths.