AFP: Troops can refuse Sinovac, but would have to pay

27-Feb-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

While all troops are required to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said Friday that they can choose not to get the Sinovac shots allocated for them, but they would have to pay.

“Our soldiers can choose a different vaccine brand,” AFP spokesperson MGen. Edgard Arevalo said in Filipino during a briefing aired on state-run People’s Television. “But since these are not the vaccines allotted for the AFP, they would need to pay for the vaccine brand that they would get.”

It is unclear how this would work as currently, the three coronavirus vaccines created by Pfiser/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sinovac only have emergency use authorisations from the Food and Drug Administration, which means that they cannot be sold commercially.

A vaccine has to have a certificate of product registration from the FDA before it can hit the shelves.

Arevalo did not clearly explain how troops who would prefer a brand other than Sinovac would pay for vaccines, only saying that this is a “concept” available to them.

“If they really want to opt for another brand apart from the effective vaccine that we have allocated for our soldiers, then they can exercise that option,” he said partly in Filipino.

Of the 600,000 doses of the Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines, which Malacanang said is set to arrive Sunday, 100,000 are earmarked for the military personnel.

In explaining why troops are required to get the shots, Arevalo likened it to donning protective equipment during battle.

“We give our soldiers protective equipment during battle because they will fight a fierce enemy. We cannot allow it to be optional if they want to wear protective equipment or not,” he said in Filipino.

Arevalo said that they target to vaccinate 100 personnel per day at 47 vaccination sites across the country once the shots are available for use.


Category: Philippines

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