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Rodrigo Duterte has praised Russia's efforts to develop a "free" COVID-19 vaccine for the Philippines. To alleviate fears, Duterte said he will offer to be "the first they can experiment on" in a public vaccination.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed he has accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to provide a Russian COVID-19 vaccine  when it becomes available and said he is willing to participate in trials.
"When the vaccine arrives, I will inject it publicly. Experiment with me, that's fine. If it works on me, it will work on everyone," the Philippines leader said in a televised speech late on Monday.
Duterte's office on Tuesday said the Philippines is ready to collaborate with Moscow on vaccine trials, supply and production.
"The Philippines stands ready to work with Russia on clinical trials, vaccine supply and production, and other areas deemed practicable by relevant Philippine and Russian agencies to address this global health emergency," a government statement said.
Duterte lauded Russia's efforts to speedily develop a coronavirus vaccine.  
"I will tell President Putin that I have huge trust in your studies in combating COVID and I believe that the vaccine that you have produced is really good for humanity," Duterte said.
To reassure the Filipino public, Duterte said: "I can be the first they can experiment on."
The Filipino leader said he is confident of the effectiveness of Russia's vaccine, which he said will be ready by December, when "the Philippines will be free of COVID-19 and will be able to enjoy a peaceful Christmas."