Senator Bong Go on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte wants the police and military to be prioritized in getting inoculated against COVID-19 with the vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac since they too are “frontliners.”
Providing an update on the procurement of vaccines, Go said documentary requirements for the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX facility are almost done. The Pfizer vaccine on the other hand would most likely arrive first in the Philippines.
“Susunod rin po yung donasyon ng bansang Tsina — ito pong Sinovac. At pinagbilin po ni Pangulong Duterte na ilan po dito sa mga donated doses mula sa Tsina ay bibigyan po ng prayoridad ang ating mga sundalo at mga kapulisan dahil kabilang rin po sila sa ating mga itinuturing na frontliners,” Go said in a statement.
50,000 Filipinos are expected to be vaccinated in February but the target for the year is 50 to 70 million.
In vaccination, the government currently prioritizes health workers and frontliners from certain government offices, followed by indigent senior citizens, regular senior citizens, and other indigents.
Duterte previously said he needs the police and military healthy which is why he is making them the top priority.
“Kapag magkasakit lahat ‘yan, wala na akong asahan, wala na akong mautusan na gawin ‘to, gawin ‘yon,” Duterte said in November last year.
“As I have said, try to understand the police and the military. They are really the errand (boys) of the republic,” he added.
Go said that less fortunate, uniformed personnel, and athletes should be prioritized as well.
“Bigyan rin po dapat ng prayoridad ang ating mga atleta na nagbibigay karangalan sa ating bansa at mag-uumpisa na po ang kanilang mga training,” he said.
“Marami rin po ang apektado sa ating mga atleta at tatandaan natin, lahat po sila ay may pamilya rin pong pinapakain,” he added.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer are currently the only vaccines approved for emergency use in the country.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday said Duterte will discuss with his doctor what vaccine he’d take. Duterte has already made it clear that he will be vaccinated in private.
“Let’s just say this issue will have to be discussed by the President with his physicians,” Roque said at a press briefing.
Roque also said that the President should be a priority since he too is a senior citizen. Duterte is leaning towards taking the vaccines created by Russia or China’s Sinovac but both are yet to be approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.