President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday received his first jab of Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
In a Facebook Live, the President’s longtime aide, Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go shared the video of Duterte being vaccinated inside Malacañang. The vaccine was administered by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“I feel good. I have been expecting a shot, this vaccination a long time ago,” Duterte can be heard saying after receiving his COVID-19 jab.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the first dose was “covered by the compassionate use permit issued to the PSG hospital by the Food and Drug Administration.”
The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine of the China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp. has yet to receive an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA as its application remains pending.
Earlier this year, Duterte himself said he would not be inoculated publicly but a month later he changed his mind and said he would publicly get vaccinated.
Roque also previously said that Duterte prefers to get inoculated against COVID-19 with the vaccine developed by Sinopharm.
The said vaccine became controversial in the country after some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) reportedly been inoculated by the smuggled vaccine as early as last year despite the absence of an FDA approval.
Previously, former Special envoy to China Ramon ‘Mon’ Tulfo nonchalantly revealed that he has been vaccinated with Sinopharm in October 2020 along with other officials whom he did not name.
The PSG was previously given a compassionate special permit of the FDA to use 10,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines even without a EUA.