VERA FILES FACT CHECK: The evolution of Duterte’s COVID-19 vaccination: From ‘first’ to ‘last’ to ‘not allowed’

Read this fact check in Filipino

As the country launched on March 1 its long-awaited vaccination program against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), conflicting pronouncements from the Palace persist on when President Rodrigo Duterte, at 75, will be inoculated, and whether it would be in public.

(See A show of trust: Philippine public health officials receive first jabs of Sinovac vaccine)

From explicitly saying in August last year that he would be “first” in line to be vaccinated — and in public at that — to raise confidence in the jabs’ safety and effectiveness, Duterte said in October that he could be last, and now says he “cannot just decide” to be inoculated without his doctor’s recommendation.

VERA Files tracked how the Palace’s pronouncements have changed over time about the matter:


PTV, PANOORIN: Laging Handa Special Coverage | March 1, 2021, March 1, 2021

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jan. 19, 2021

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Feb. 15, 2021

Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Feb. 22, 2021

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)


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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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