Philippine President Apologizes for Taking Unapproved Sinopharm Jab, Requests China Withdraw Doses

May 6, 2021 Updated: May 7, 2021

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned Filipinos not to follow his example and get the China-made Sinopharm vaccine which has not yet been approved by the country’s health regulator for use against the CCP virus.

Duterte, who was able to get the Sinopharm jab via a compassionate use permit despite the drug not yet being approved, has since asked the Chinese embassy to return 1,000 unused doses that were donated by Beijing.

Following criticism, Duterte told Filipinos, “Don’t follow my steps.”

“It’s dangerous because there are no studies, it might not be good for the body. Just let me be the sole person to receive it.”

Both the president and his security personnel sparked widespread criticism after receiving China-made vaccines against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“Let’s just pull them out (of the country), so that there’s no issue,” Duterte said of the Sinopharm doses still in the country.

The 76-year-old leader at first defended his actions, according to local media Rappler, saying it was a “personal request.”

“What was injected in me, it’s the decision of my doctor and all things said, this is my life,” the controversial leader said, before accepting the criticism levelled at him.

“We are sorry for the things you are criticizing us for, we accept responsibility,” he said. “We are sorry, you are right, we are wrong.”

The Philippines is one of the hardest-hit countries in southeast Asia, with a total of more than 1 million infections and more than 16,000 deaths, according to ABS-CBN News.

Duterte mentioned that China should only send Sinovac jabs in future, which have been approved by relevant Philippine authorities.

The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) believes that Sinovac shots are effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in adults (18-59), but there is no data available regarding the risk of serious adverse effects, according to Reuters. In the case of Sinopharm jabs, the group shows “very low confidence” in them about the same risk on certain patients.

The efficacy of China-made vaccines has been questioned since their trial data lacks transparency. The CCP’s cover-up of domestic vaccine-related deaths has also heightened public concern.

A Chinese netizen with the username Shan Xia Hua Yi Zi revealed that her 28-year-old brother, a border police officer in Shenzhen city in China’s southern Guangdong province, died on April 15 after taking two Sinopharm shots respectively on Jan. 11 and Feb. 8, according to NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times.

After she posted online about her brother’s death online, she received a call from her brother’s employer and the local Futian Health Authority who warned her against the negative impact her posts might create. She then found her posts had been deleted without notice.

In Hong Kong, similar death reports were published in local media outlets. On April 26, the Hong Kong Department of Health reported that a 63-year-old male doctor died 10 days after receiving his second dose of the Sinovac vaccine.

As of April 26, data showed there had been 24 death cases after getting vaccinated in Hong Kong, 20 of whom had been inoculated with Sinovac jabs, though no evidence suggests a link between their deaths and the vaccine, Apple Daily reported.