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Duterte's Quip About Vaccinating People in Their Sleep Was a Joke, Spokesman Says

© AFP 2021(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 10, 2018, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 10, 2018, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.10.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was joking when he suggested that people reluctant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 should be inoculated in their sleep sleep, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday.
"Yes, it was a joke," Roque told a virtual briefing.
The remark was made earlier this week when Duterte complained that the country's vaccination effort was hindered by those who are still hesitant to get the injection.
"I know many people are still hesitant. That's the problem, those people who do not want to get vaccinated ... Let's enter their houses and vaccinate them while asleep. End of story", Duterte said, as quoted by the newspaper the Inquirer.
The president also urged the population to comply with restrictions, including social distancing and a requirement to wear masks.
In this April 16, 2020, photo provided by the Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks to the nation about the government's efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease during a televised address from Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
'Let's Enter Their Houses': Duterte Suggests Inoculating Vaccine-Hesitant People in Their Sleep
To date, the country has logged nearly 2.7 million COVID-19 cases and slightly over 40,000 deaths.
More than 27.1 million people of the Philippines' almost 110 million people have received at least the first shot, while more than 23.7 million have been fully vaccinated.
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