Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to receive the Chinese-made Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine shots, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.
Roque said in an online press conference that Duterte, 75, wants the jabs administered to him away from the public eye.
Asked if Duterte would receive the shots, Roque said, “Yes, and his answer was, ‘No problem, I will take the vaccine as soon as it’s available.'”
Duterte has talked about the safety of vaccines developed by China’s biopharmaceutical companies.
In a late-night televised national address on Monday, Duterte said that China’s COVID-19 vaccines, including those from Sinovac and Sinopharm, are being used in Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Brazil.
Duterte also on the same occasion last week said that the Chinese vaccines are “safe, sure, and secure.”
The Philippine government has said that it has secured 25 million doses of Sinovac-developed CoronaVac vaccines, which is seeking an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines.
The first batch of 50,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines will arrive in the Philippines as early as February.
The Philippines is in talks with at least seven vaccine makers to procure 148 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.
It aims to vaccinate 50 million to 70 million people, or more than 60 percent of the total population this year, to achieve herd immunity.