Jun 22, 2021 - World

Philippines' Duterte threatens to jail people who refuse COVID vaccine

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaking as a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on February 28, 2021 in Manila, Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened late Monday to imprison anyone who refuses the COVID-19 vaccine, following reports of low turnouts at vaccination sites across the capital, Manila, per Bloomberg.

The big picture: "You choose — vaccine or I will have you jailed," Duterte said in a televised address. That's despite official health guidelines showing that getting vaccinated is voluntary in the Philippines. The country has confirmed nearly 1.4 million cases and over 23,000 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began.

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