Vaccination is supposed to be a personal decision and Malacañang vowed that COVID-19 immunization is not mandatory.
However, the military is making it compulsory for soldiers and their dependents to take jabs from Sinovac, which is the first brand of vaccines to arrive in the Philippines.
On Thursday, military spokesperson Marine Major General Edgard Arevalo stressed that receiving vaccines “immediately” is their “duty.”
Arevalo said, “To get inoculated or not is not an option for the members of the AFP.”
He shared it is especially necessary for soldiers who serve as frontliners or those exposed to COVID-19 patients.
Those who choose to forego Sinovac jabs for other brands will have to shoulder the costs of receiving another brand.
China donated the first batch of 600,000 doses of vaccines to the Philippines.
Malacañang said 100,000 of these will be given to the Department of National Defense, the armed forces’ parent agency.