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COVID vaccines

Duterte's threats to unvaxxed show Philippine rollout disparities

Critics say shots and tests are insufficient, rural areas underserved

 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte holds a vial of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac in February 2021.   © Reuters

MANILA -- With COVID-19 infections spiking in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the unvaccinated to stay at home or risk arrest. Out of a total population of 110 million, around 53.4 million, or 48.5%, are completely vaccinated, with just over 3.8 million receiving booster shots.

Urban centers and provinces are increasingly tightening quarantine protocols to curb the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant. Meanwhile, Duterte and those in his camp continue to blame unvaccinated individuals as being irresponsible. In an address to the nation, the president said that the escalating casualties are "surely unvaccinated" and that those who have failed to get inoculated shouldn't expect any help from the government.

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