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Palace: Duterte's Sinopharm jab to boost confidence on China-made vaccines

President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to get inoculated with an anti-COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinopharm will boost confidence in Chinese-made vaccines, Malacañang said Monday.

Duterte received the Sinopharm vaccine even if it has yet to be granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Hindi po namili si Presidente ng stateside na brand. Chinese brand rin ang pinili niya [The President did not choose a Western brand. He went for a Chinese brand]," Roque said in a Palace briefing.

"This will boost confidence in Chinese-made vaccines," he added.

Roque was responding to a question on why the government is pressing the public to trust the vaccines as they have EUA from FDA when Duterte himself got vaccinated by a vaccine without an EUA.

The lone Chinese-made vaccine issued EUA by the FDA so far is Sinovac.

Sinovac, however, is yet to be placed under emergency use listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Sinopharm, on the other hand, has already been granted EUL by WHO.

Around five million doses of the country's COVID-19 vaccine supply are from Sinovac. Some were donated by the Chinese government while some were paid for by the national government.

Amid the reported preference of many Filipinos to Western vaccines, officials have repeatedly appealed to the public not to be picky when it comes to vaccine against COVID-19, saying all of them can give protection. 

A recent Social Weather Stations survey showed that 63% of Filipinos preferred to receive vaccines manufactured in the United States to protect themselves from COVID-19.

In the survey conducted from April 28 to May 2, 2021, SWS found that the US dominated the list for preferred sources of vaccines.

This was followed by Japan (19%), Australia (13%), United Kingdom (13%), Canada (12%), Russia (12%),  Germany (8%), Korea (6%), and India (3%). Two percent chose all 10 countries while 12% refused to respond.  —KBK, GMA News