Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, wants every single citizen in his country to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Speaking during a televised announcement on Wednesday night, Duterte said that “all” 113 million citizens will be given a vaccination to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Duterte added that he prefers soldiers and civil servants to be vaccinated first because of their importance to the safety and security of the nation.
“I need my soldiers and policemen healthy,” Duterte said. “They are really vital to the security of the state.”
Although Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly are deep in trials for their coronavirus antibody treatments in the United States, Duterte said that he prefers a vaccine developed by two powerful nations to the north of his island nation.
“For me, either China or Russia, I am OK,” Duterte said about his preference for the vaccination’s origin. Speaking of Russia, specifically, Duterte said his administration has been talking with officials in Moscow who are hoping to set up a pharmaceutical plant in the Philippines.
The Philippines has been hit hard by the virus, with more than 300,000 positive tests in the country and more than 6,000 deaths. Duterte said his administration has enough money to purchase vaccinations for every citizen in the country.