President Rodrigo Duterte has volunteered to be the first to receive experimental vaccine for COVID-19 from Russia to ensure that it works and has no unwanted side effects.
"Ako pagdating ng bakuna, para walang satsat dyan, in public, magpainjection. Ako yung maunang mag-eksperimentuhan," the President said.
"Okay para sa akin, sabihin ko rin kay President Putin na malaki ang tiwala ko sa kanilang studies," he added as he thanked his Russian counterpart for assuring the Philippines of free vaccine supply once it becomes available.
"Nagpapasalamat kami. Someday, makabayad kami ng utang na loob namin sa inyo. I promise you that the Philippines and Russia will remain friends forever," he said.
Duterte appealed to Filipinos to continue observing health protocols even as countries such as Russia, China and the United States are preparing to launch their own vaccines.
"Malapit na po. Ang vaccine, they are to be distributed worldwide by September or October.... By December, we will have a COVID free December and we can enjoy this Christmas season," the President said.