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Harry Roque: ‘I have not been vaccinated yet’; officials, ‘influencers’ also not allowed to get CoronaVac shots

Roque is well within the limits set by the FDA, but a convenient excuse has appeared for the Palace mouthpiece.

It would seem that the priority list for COVID-19 vaccination is at least being followed as 50 ‘influencers’ were struck off the list of people who were going to get inoculated with CoronaVac.

The news came from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who said he was one of the 50 influencers who was supposed to get priority for the recently-received doses from Chinese biotech giant Sinovac.

At a Palace media briefing, Roque said the interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) thumbed down the proposal to have 50 people jump ahead of healthcare workers, saying medical frontliners deserved to get the vaccine ahead of everyone else.

The reported 50 influencers apparently included Roque, select Cabinet officials, senators, a few congressmen, media personalities, movie personalities, and President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

The list of 50 influencers supposedly came from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in an effort to boost public confidence in vaccines.

Roque’s announcement, however, did not sit well with netizens.

Some viewed the rejection as a convenient excuse, with data from Sinovac’s phase 3 trials still under wraps.

Some even shared Roque being pre-screened prior to saying he wasn’t going to get the Sinovac jab.

Netizens also quipped Roque for his line “the best we have is the one we have now” when he spoke about the best vaccine for COVID-19.

Roque would add to his reason for not getting inoculated with CoronaVac, saying he would like to “avoid controversy” by not pushing through with the IATF plan.

In the media briefing, Roque would also announce that it was Duterte who specifically asked vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. and vice czar Vince Dizon to get inoculated with CoronaVac as they were the “faces of vaccination”.

Roque, who was at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) during the ceremonial inoculation on March 1, also said UP-PGH “ran out of vaccine doses” since only 60-70 people confirmed yet 128 people showed up.

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