Philippines president threatens to jail people who refuse vaccine

Philippines president threatens to jail people who refuse vaccine
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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is threatening to jail people who refuse to get coronavirus vaccines amid an outbreak in the country.

"You choose, vaccine or I will have you jailed," Duterte said in a televised address on Monday after there was a low turnout for vaccinations, Reuters reported.

"Don't get me wrong, there is a crisis in this country," Duterte added. "I'm just exasperated by Filipinos not heeding the government."

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Duterte’s health officials have said in the past that the vaccines are completely voluntary and no one would be jailed for refusal to get it.

The Philippines has reported more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases and over 23,000 deaths.

It has received vaccine doses from China and the global COVAX program, although it has had difficulty getting its citizens to get vaccinated.

Low turnout was seen at some vaccination sites in the country, as only 2.1 million out of the 110 million citizens have been fully vaccinated, Reuters noted.

The White House recently announced it is allocating 55 million vaccine doses to countries around the world, with 16 million going to Asian nations.