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Vaccination fears may ease with Duterte’s own shot

GIVING President Rodrigo R. Duterte a coronavirus vaccine shot would probably persuade hesitant Filipinos to get vaccinated, according to the country’s vaccine czar.

Vaccinating the President, who enjoys a 70% approval rating, would boost the confidence of Filipinos in the government inoculation drive, Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. told an online news briefing on Wednesday.

A poll by the OCTA Research Team in December showed that only a quarter of Filipinos in Metro Manila are willing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. It said 28% did not want the vaccine, while 47% were undecided.

Mr. Galvez said he and other officials were willing to get vaccinated with whatever drug will arrive in the country first.

Presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque said earlier Mr. Duterte preferred the vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and Russia’s Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

A poll by the Social Weather Stations in 2019 showed that most Filipinos do not trust China, which had a “bad” net trust score of minus 36.

Aside from China’s Sinovac, vaccines developed by US drug maker Pfizer, Inc. and British firm AstraZeneca, Plc may be among the first to arrive in the country, Mr. Galvez said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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