The Philippines is expecting to receive the first batch of government-procured one million doses of the one-shot Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine this month and another 190,000 doses of Sputnik V (Component 2), National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Friday.
Galvez said Sputnik Light, a variation of the two-dose Sputnik V jab, could hasten the country’s vaccination drive toward achieving population protection by the end of the year.
“The Sputnik V Light is more efficient because we will be able to protect more people faster. This would eliminate the problem wherein people fail to return for their second dose,” Galvez said.
The Food and Drug Administration approved in August the emergency use authorization of Sputnik Light from Russia.
Galvez also allayed the concerns of those who have received their first dose of Sputnik V but yet to get the second shot.
“As per our vaccine experts from the Department of Health, the gap between first and second doses of Sputnik V can be as long as six months, so no need to worry because the vaccines are arriving soon,” he said.
“This shipment of Sputnik V vaccines shall be used for the second dose. After this, we will be receiving the single-shot Sputnik V Light as we move forward with our vaccine rollout,” he said, adding that the two-dose vaccine might arrive by the weekend or early next week.
As of Sept. 15, the country has received a total of 57.548 million vaccine doses from various manufacturers – over 36 million doses were procured by the national government.
The country has also breached the 40 million mark in terms of Covid-19 jabs administered, with 40.030 million shots given as of Sept. 15.
This number is composed of 17,676 million fully-vaccinated individuals and 22.354 million who have received the first dose.
Over 39 million doses are expected to arrive this September, with 5.647 million doses already delivered to the country from Sept. 1 to 15.