Isko Moreno is willing to be publicly vaccinated with Sinovac’s controversial drug, the Manila City mayor said in an interview today.
While Moreno did not mention the Beijing pharmaceutical company’s name, he said that he was “half-hearted” about its drug, but his confidence was boosted after Indonesian President Joko Widodo was injected with it. Widodo had received his second CoronaVac dose early this week, or 14 days after he got the first jab.
Moreno said in the news program Headstart that he was willing to take CoronaVac as long as it had been certified by the local Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is responsible for issuing emergency use authorizations (EUA) for all COVID-19 vaccines. Sinovac has yet to receive its EUA but the FDA had already given its stamp of approval for Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s vaccines.
“This is now my personal belief. I will have myself injected if there is a certificate from the FDA, the scientists of our country have said that it is safe and it has received an EUA, whatever product that is, wherever it comes from, and scientists have affixed their name and signature there, [I will take it],” he said in English and Filipino.
Critics have lambasted the Duterte government for procuring 25 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine, which had been found to be only 50% effective against COVID. In addition, it is reportedly more expensive than other brands, leading to accusations of corruption.
Such criticisms have annoyed President Rodrigo Duterte, who said that Filipinos could get Pfizer’s vaccines but should be aware of what happened in Norway, where several elderly patients allegedly died because of the drug.
From Moreno’s point of view, he said it was fine to take Sinovac’s drug because getting “50% protection” was “still better than zero.”
“If we want to encourage other people [to be vaccinated], our countrymen, let’s show them that you’re going to shoulder also some level of risk,” he said.
He should tell that to Duterte. In August 2020 Duterte said he was willing to be the first to be publicly vaccinated with the Russian-made Sputnik vaccine, but changed his mind when the Sinovac deal was finalized. His spokesman said early this week that the vaccination of the president would occur in private because Duterte wanted to get the jab up in his ass.
The president has yet to say which brand he will be vaccinated with, or the date that his bum will get the COVID jab.
This article, Mayor Isko Moreno willing to be publicly vaccinated with China-made Sinovac, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.