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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte says Filipinos can’t choose their COVID-19 vaccine brand, netizens call him out

Netizens weren’t convinced with Duterte’s answer as they pointed out that he himself had a specific preference for the Sinopharm vaccine.

President Rodrigo Duterte told Filipinos that they cannot choose which COVID-19 vaccine brand to take from the government.

In a taped state address aired on May 18, he explained that the vaccines are all the same and those approved by drug regulators are all “potent” and “effective.”

Duterte added that the vaccines are given in bulk so Filipinos should accept whatever is in front of them.

“There will be no discrimination at saka hindi kayo makapili kung ano ang bakuna. Pareho lahat yan. Di kayo makasabi AstraZeneca sa akin, Moderna–no. Kung ano ang nasa harap ninyo, yun na. Do not ask for a special kind of–kasi bulto por bulto yan ibigay… It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.”

He said that it won’t be guaranteed that those waiting for US-made vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna will be jabbed by the brands they prefer.

“Sabi ko hindi mangyari ‘yan. You cannot have–kung anong nasa harap n’yo, que milyonaryo ka o ano, iyon na ‘yong iyo. Hindi ka mamili.”

The president declared that vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. distributes the vaccines with a blind eye regarding vaccine brands.

“Ayaw kong magkaroon ng storya na may pinapapaboran kami na ito, ito. Wala. Maski saang subdivision ka na mayaman o anong lugar dito sa North Harbor, pareho kayo lahat. Hindi ako papayag na magpili-pili.”

Netizens weren’t convinced with Duterte’s answer as they pointed out that he had a specific preference for the Sinopharm vaccine.

“[Duterte] chose to be vaccinated with Sinopharm despite not being approved by the FDA at that time.”

Someone mentioned that Filipinos airing out their vaccine preference is an “insult” to Duterte as it just shows how they have little faith in China-made vaccines.

A Twitter user described Duterte as “thick-faced” for having the privilege to choose this vaccine.

“Kung kayo nakinig sa tao edi sana hindi niyo kaylangan ipilit ang brand niyo,” a Twitter user wrote.

Another accused Duterte of purposely delaying the acquisition of Western vaccines so that the country will be indebted to China.

Filipinos’ right to choose is what a netizen is fighting for, saying that the administration was to blame for blocking the vaccines.

Someone mentioned that the country has borrowed billions of money, yet its citizens still have no right to choose.

On the other hand, a netizen said that people skipping their chance to be vaccinated with Sinovac to be vaccinated with Pfizer or Modera is a bad development for public health.

Duterte received his first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine on May 3, which the Palace earlier said was his preferred brand.

“He has said his preference is for Sinopharm,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque during his regular press briefing on February 22.

As of writing, the Philippines has received 7.779 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech and has administered almost 3 million to Filipinos.

Written by J M

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