Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Russia’s offer of its coronavirus vaccine, volunteering to take the first shot as a gesture of trust and gratitude.
“When the vaccine arrives, I will have myself injected in public. Experiment on me first, that’s fine with me,” Duterte said in a briefing on Monday night. The Philippines is ready to assist Russia in clinical trials and local production, he said.
The Philippines has 136,638 confirmed coronavirus cases, the highest in Southeast Asia. On Monday, it reported new infections of 6,958, the largest daily increase which the Department of Health attributed to an error in its database that failed to count earlier test results.
Mr Duterte last month said he also asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help the Philippines get priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine.