Duterte gets Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has received his first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, weeks after saying he would waive his chance to get inoculated, as the country struggles to secure jabs amid a resurgence in infections.

Officials said Duterte was given the vaccine made by China’s Sinopharm – the same one secretly administered to members of his security team last year before any shot had been given regulatory approval.

Photos posted on the Facebook page of a close aide showed a masked Duterte, wearing an unbuttoned denim shirt over a white T-shirt and braces – sitting in a chair as Health Secretary Francisco Duque injected him.

“He was vaccinated not only to protect his health from Covid-19 but also to encourage our citizens to get vaccinated,” Senator Christopher “Bong” Go posted.

“As a senior citizen, he was among the priority for vaccination.”

A Facebook Live video of the event cut out moments before the needle punctured Duterte’s upper left arm, but photos showed the injection.

A man rides his pedicab with a slogan to remind people to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the Philippines. PHOTO: AP