President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the delivery of the initial 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to the Philippines.
“With the added shipments arriving from Russia, let me thank the Russian people, the government and President Putin for their kind-hearted support for the Filipinos,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded public address.
The 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines procured by the government arrived in the Philippines on May 1.
Officials of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, led by vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III, and Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov witnessed the arrival of the vaccines produced by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
Galvez said the initial doses were supposed to be delivered on April 28 but it was delayed due to “logistical challenges.”
Sputnik V requires a storage temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius and below (frozen solution).
Deputy chief implementer and testing czar Vince Dizon said five local government units in Metro Manila namely Manila, Taguig, Makati, Paranaque, and Muntinlupa will each get an initial 3,000 doses of the jabs starting Tuesday.
He said the pilot rollout is needed to assess and review other logistical requirements.
Galvez said the Philippines has secured a total of 10 million doses from Gamaleya but the number may double.
With the arrival of Sputnik V, the country now has three brands of Covid-19 vaccines in its inventory, namely CoronaVac from China’s Sinovac Biotech, and AstraZeneca from a British-Swedish manufacturing company of the same name.
Sputnik V has already secured an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Philippines.
To date, the country’s vaccine supply has reached more than 4 million doses.
Russia is the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine.Based on human trials of the shot, Russian developers said Sputnik V was found to be 91.4 percent effective in providing protection from Covid-19. SOVEREIGNPH