Duterte threatens to jail individuals who refuse vaccine

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to arrest people who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 during a weekly televised public address on Monday, June 21.

According to Duterte, individuals who refuse to get vaccinated are carriers capable of infecting other people as they travel from one place to another. Emphasizing the need for a drastic measure as it is a matter of national emergency, Duterte has given individuals who refuse to be inoculated against COVID-19 two options: get jailed or leave the Philippines.

Duterte threatens to jail individuals who refuse vaccine

“Kung hindi kayo magpabakuna, umalis kayo sa Pilipinas. Go to India, if you want, or to America. But for as long as you are here and you are a human being and can carry the virus, magpabakuna ka. Otherwise, I will order all the barangay captains to have a tally of the people who refuse to be vaccinated," Duterte said.

"Mamili kayo, magpabakuna kayo o ipakulong ko kayo sa selda,” he added.

Furthermore, Duterte ordered barangay captains to create a list of individuals who opt not to be inoculated. He also threatened to inject these individuals with ivermectin, the controversial anti-parasitic drug believed to cure COVID-19.

As of June 20, the government has administered 8,407,342 doses since it began its immunization program last March. According to the Department of Health and National Task Force Against COVID-19, 6,253,400 individuals have received their first doses while 2,153,942 got their second doses.

To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, the government aims to fully inoculate at least 58 million people.

Despite the government’s efforts on its vaccination drive, a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that only 66 percent were willing to be vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus. This figure decreased to 32 percent in the latest SWS survey.

— Mini, The Summit Express

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