Malacañang confirmed that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte got inoculated against COVID-19. The Chief Executive was vaccinated using a China-made vaccine candidate that has yet to be granted emergency use authorization in the Philippines. President Duterte said that he “felt good and have been expecting this vaccination a long time ago.”
The 76 year old President stated that the inoculation was done in Malacanang Palace monday night. While it has no Emergency Use Authorization yet from the Food and Drug Administration, Sinopharm’s product was granted compassionate use license in February for the Presidential Security Group.
Last year, President Duterte admitted that some members of his security team took unauthorized Sinopharm jabs. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque clarified that the first dose given to President Duterte was covered by the compassionate use permit issued to the PSG by the FDA.”
The permit is good for 10,000 doses, Roque said at the same time insisted that President Duterte, as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, may be entitled to use the Sinopharm vaccine under the said permit.
President Duterte now joins leaders of Hungary, Pakistan, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates who, according to media reports, received Sinopharm’s vaccine product after his doctor allowed it.
Last year, President Duterte said he preferred vaccines from China or Russia, as he alleged that Western drug groups were profiting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Duterte, who is a senior citizen and has underlying health issues, belongs to the groups vulnerable of developing severe symptoms of the respiratory disease. The said groups are part of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination priorities.