Duterte again changes mind, now OKs to be vaccinated in public
President Rodrigo Duterte is now willing to have public vaccination against coronavirus disease to increase confidence of the public on immunization, Malacanang said on Monday.
"As I said, I have already knew the decision of the President and he will make his vaccination in public because this seems to be needed in order to have what we call as vaccine confidence," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a radio interview.
Duterte first said he would have his COVID-19 inoculation in public. But later Roque said Duterte wanted his injection to be made in private as he wanted it done on his buttocks. The Palace would just later tell the public once it is done.
But this time, Roque said Duterte would finally have his inoculation in public amid the hesitance of many Filipinos to undergo COVID-19 vaccination.
Roque said Duterte, who is turning 76 on March 28, also belongs to the senior citizens group, a priority sector which could receive the vaccine.
As to Vice President Leni Robredo, 55, and who earlier expressed willingness to be one of the first recipients of the vaccine, Roque said he was not sure if she belongs to any priority groups.
Meanwhile, in a televised press briefing, Minguita Padilla of the University of the Philippines-College of Medicine, said to increase confidence among the Filipinos, doctors, government officials, both national and local, and known personalities should volunteer to be the first among those who will receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Roque, who belongs to the priority sector with comorbidities and who is willing to be inoculated, said their only concern if all government officials would first be vaccinated is they could be accused of getting "VIP treatment."
Various surveys, including those initiated by the LGUs, have shown that many of their constituents were hesitant to receive the vaccine.
The government is eyeing the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines this month. Celerina Monte/DMS