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HCWs, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte only people with privilege to choose COVID-19 vaccine: Palace

Harry Roque placed the Palace decision using his most eloquent attempt: he is the President.

It’s no secret that Filipinos have a preference for which COVID-19 vaccine they want to take. It’s a prerogative recognized by the health industry.

Malacañang, however, just said Filipinos cannot choose which vaccine they will take—unless you’re a healthcare worker or the President.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque would drop the comment during a media briefing on March 4.

Roque said, “I think the President is the President and because he is over 70 years old,” when asked by Rappler reporter Pia Rañada.

Roque would also be asked if it really is the President’s prerogative or if other seniors can enjoy the same option, to which he would not be able to give a straight answer.

“Everything is speculative at this point since it is not the turn of senior citizens just yet,” said Roque.

This would elicit reactions from netizens that hover between “sana all President” and “is he above the law?”

Netizens have also called the Palace’s statement “elitist”, as well as them losing track of what a “public servant” is supposed to be.

The Palace’s statement also confirmed a previously imposed protocol that Filipinos will need to take what is already available.

This, however, is contrary to a practice in the medical industry that allows patients to choose their form of treatment—which includes the vaccines they will be given.

It also puts a spotlight on why President Rodrigo Duterte is within the same pecking order as healthcare workers, since most world leaders were not given their pick of the vaccine litter.

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