President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to be vaccinated in public with the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Chinese company Sinopharm, Special Envoy to China Mon Tulfo said.
In his February 20 column for the Manila Times, Tulfo said Duterte expressed his preference for Sinopharm’s vaccine during their recent private chat.
“Digong said he believes that the Sinopharm vaccine is the best among the brands in the market,” Tulfo said.
“The President said he would have himself, his family and even Go — if the senator so desires — injected with the Sinopharm vaccine in public. This would allay fears among the people that the vaccine might have adverse side effects,” he added.
Tulfo said Duterte was willing to write to Sinopharm to ask for samples of its vaccine.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier announced that 600,000 doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine will arrive on February 23. Later, however, he clarified that their delivery might be delayed since the Chinese pharmaceutical company wants to wait first for the emergency use authorization to be given by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Tulfo, meanwhile, revealed that he had himself vaccinated with Sinopharm’s vaccine in October last year because he wanted to be its distributor in the Philippines.
“I have applied to be one of the distributors of the Sinopharm vaccine in the country, that’s why I risked my life to have myself inoculated ahead of the public. I had left instructions with my family that if I died of the vaccine’s side effects, they would announce it to the public,” he said.
Tulfo said he will keep mum about the source of the vaccine, which was also the brand that was inoculated into members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) last year.