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LOOK: Philippine Army Chief, Troops Get Sinovac Vaccines

Second day for vaccine rollout.
by Jerome Ascano and Ara Eugenio
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The head of the Philippine Army, Lt. Gen. Jose Faustino, on Tuesday led troops in receiving COVID vaccines from China's Sinovac, as the government's immunization drive entered its second day.

At the Philippine Army Grandstand in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, health workers belonging to the armed forces received the much awaited jabs.

Jerome Ascano
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Jerome Ascano

"Priority amongst AFP personnel remains to be the medical health frontliners. We will be grateful with whatever number of vaccine shots will be shared to the AFP," AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo told ABS-CBN news on Monday. 

ALSO READ: Side Effects? PH First Vaccine Recipient Says He Feels Good

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"[The AFP is] aware that there is a scarce number of vaccines vis-a-vis the number of those who needs to be inoculated among uniformed personnel, we give premium to those of us who perform anti-COVID-19 operations," he said. 

Jerome Ascano

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Jerome Ascano

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana today urged the public not to "politicize" the government's COVID-19 vaccination program, as distrust over the vaccine whose efficacy rate is at a 50.4% remain present. 

"Now is not the time to play doomsayer. Now is not the time for games. And most specially, now is not the time for politics," Lorenzana said in a statement.

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"This is just the first brand to arrive, among other brands that are scheduled. Don’t politicize the vaccine donation and use it as a political propaganda. Hindi maganda. It reflects badly on us as a nation. Ginagalit, tinatakot pa ng iilan ang mga tao sa kinakalat nilang mga fake news. Please stop. Tama na muna ang pulitika," he said. 

In December, Lorenzana defended the Presidential Security Group's unauthorized vaccination with donations from China's Sinopharm, saying it was "justified" despite public outcry. 

Jerome Ascano
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