The initial batch of 15,000 doses of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine will not arrive in the Philippines on Wednesday due to “logistical challenges,” Malacañang announced.
“We confirm that logistical challenges resulted in the delay of the arrival of 15,000 trial order of Sputnik V,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
Roque explained that the delivery of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines has been cancelled because there are “no direct flights from Russia.”
He added that the vaccines are required to be stored at a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius, a requirement that cannot be met for now.
Roque, nevertheless, ensured that National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. is doing his best to address the logistical problems.
“Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez has taken steps to address these challenges and aims to receive the initial order of the Russian vaccines in the month of May instead,” he said.
The 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute will be used in a simulation activity.
The country is also expecting the delivery of another 480,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses on April 29 and another 2 million vials in May.
Roque, however, did not mention whether the delivery of the 480,000 vaccine jabs will push through on April 29.
On Tuesday, Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte will skip the arrival ceremony for 15,000 doses of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines since they are only considered a “trial” order.
NTF Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer and testing czar Vince Dizon on Monday said five local government units in Metro Manila will participate in the rollout of 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine.
Manila, Taguig, Makati, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa will receive an initial 3,000 doses each, Dizon said.
Dizon said the five cities have met the requirement for the storage of Sputnik V vaccines. SOVEREIGNPH