The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not sanctioned any vaccination of its personnel against COVID-19, its spokesperson said Monday, despite President Rodrigo Duterte's statement that some soldiers have already received the shots.
At a Laging Handa press briefing, Major General Edgard Arevalo said they are still validating the information shared by the President regarding the vaccination of some soldiers.
"Una sa lahat, wala pong AFP-sanctioned na inoculation o pagbabakuna sa mga miyembro ng Armed Forces of the Philippines," Arevalo said.
"Given that information, patuloy po nating iba-validate ang napabalita at sinabi pong 'yan ng Pangulo."
According to Arevalo, he will get information from the chief of the AFP Health Services Command regarding the matter.
He added that he will get details on the military's policy about COVID-19 vaccination in terms of priority.
In a separate statement, the AFP expressed gratitude to the President for pronouncing before that soldiers are among those who will be prioritized in the government's vaccination program.
Duterte made the statement during a public address over the weekend, saying the soldiers received a COVID-19 vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
No COVID-19 vaccine has so far secured the approval of the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, making the reported use of the Sinopharm vaccine unauthorized.
Philippine Army chief Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana has already confirmed that some military men, including officials and non-commissioned officers, have been vaccinated against COVID-19. He did not elaborate. —KBK/KG, GMA News