Philippine president gets 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The Philippine president received his first dose of coronavirus vaccine on Monday evening.

Rodrigo Duterte got China’s Sinopharm jab, which was aired live on the official Facebook account of the country’s COVID-19 task force.

Speaking after the inoculation, Duterte said he aims to encourage people to receive their shots to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“I feel good and I had been expecting this shot for a long time,” he said.

According to a statement by Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Sinopharm is the only vaccine approved by the presidential medical team.

The Sinopharm vaccine has yet to be issued emergency use authorization by the country’s Food and Drug Administration, but a compassionate use permit for 10,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses purchased by the Presidential Security Group was issued earlier.

Duterte has repeatedly said that he is more inclined to use vaccines from China and Russia.

The Philippines has so far purchased 1.9 million doses of vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.

The country with a 108 million population started its vaccine campaign on March 1 and plans to vaccinate 70 million people to achieve herd immunity.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo with Anadolu Agency’s Indonesian language services in Jakarta

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