President Rodrigo will have his vaccination held in public, his spokesman Harry Roque announced on Monday.

“I think the president has said that he will now have himself vaccinated publicly. He only has to announce when it will be done and that of course a recognition of the fact na nag-aantay ng senyales ang taumbayan kung talaga sila ay magpapabakuna o hindi,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Duterte’s earlier decision, which Roque said was final, was to not have his vaccination publicized as he preferred to be jabbed with the Covid-19 vaccine through his butt.

Roque said Duterte would adhere to what the public demands of him.

“The president has said, ‘Okay, if you want me to.’ And there’s public clamor, he said he will,” Roque added.

Duterte, a 75-year-old, falls under the priority list for the country’s vaccination drive.

The Palace spokesman said high-ranking officials of Duterte’s government would pursue public vaccinations to allay Filipinos’ vaccine hesitancy.

Roque however maintained he had yet to know if Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo would be given priority access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“I do not know if there’s also a public clamor for the Vice President. But I also know that in terms of priorities, the President is a senior citizen and entitled to priority. I have comorbidities, I’m also entitled to some priority. So let’s see if the VP will fall under any of the priorities,” Roque said.

Results of a Pulse Asia survey released in January showed that 47 percent of Filipinos were “not inclined” to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

The country has a P73.2-billion budget for its national vaccination program, which is expected to launch this month. John Ezekiel J. Hirro