Philippines eyes 20 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Philippines eyes 20 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine
This file photo taken on March 29, 2021 shows the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, during a vaccination campaign at the State Hospital in Cailungo, San Marino.
AFP / Andreas Solaro

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is expecting some 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute in the coming months, the official in charge of the government’s vaccine procurement program said Tuesday. 

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said negotiations to procure Sputnik V vaccine doses are still ongoing and the supply agreement will be signed this week.

“We’re expecting they will supply 20 million doses within the next four months,” Galvez said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

An initial batch of 500,000 doses will arrive in the country this month.

The country’s Food and Drug Administration approved Sputnik V for emergency use last month, clearing it for use on individuals aged 18 and above.

“It can be used on the elderly, so from 18 and above. So we can use this and the good thing is at least in the absence of AstraZeneca, we can use this,” Galvez said in Filipino.

In the government’s inoculation drive, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by British-Swedish AstraZeneca had been used on senior citizens. But health authorities said all 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s jab were already utilized.

Last week, the Department of Health and the FDA allowed the use of the vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech on the elderly “considering the limited availability of vaccines and the growing need to protect seniors amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.”

20 to 40 million Pfizer doses  

Galvez also said the government is negotiating to secure 20 to 40 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

He claimed the United States “will spare some of their excess doses to their allied countries” once it finishes its inoculation.

The vaccine czar also said that some 194,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 jab may arrive in May.

The government and the private sector signed a supply agreement with Moderna covering 20 million doses. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has not yet been issued emergency use authorization by the local FDA.

Over a million COVID-19 shots have been administered since the immunization campaign began last month. But the Philippines faces a lack of available vaccines as infections rise. 

The country aims to inoculate up to 70 million people this year. 

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 12, 2023 - 2:59pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

April 12, 2023 - 2:59pm

Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire says the general population may now get their second booster jab.

"We're just waiting for the release of implementing guidelines, then we'll start rolling out our second booster for the general population," she says. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

August 23, 2022 - 10:12am

Amid questions on vaccines being administered, the Department of Health assures the public all doses are safe and effective as the “process of extending shelf life goes through thorough stability studies.”

“The government ensures that every vaccine that is injected with an extended shelf life has gone through studies, and is still safe and effective against COVID-19,” it adds.

January 4, 2022 - 9:06am

Government must increase vaccination capacity across the Philippines in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant of the corona virus, Sen. Risa Hontiveros says.

She says local government units and the private sector can work together to put up more vaccination centers and deploy more vaccination teams to get more people inoculated against COVID-19.

"The active COVID cases have nearly doubled in three days. The positivity rate is almost four times the ceiling set by the World Health Organization. Huwag na nating hintayin na sobrang lumala pa ang sitwasyon bago tayo gumawa ng paraan para mapabilis ang ating pagbabakuna."

December 23, 2021 - 11:44am

FDA chief Eric Domingo says that its agency has given emergency approval for the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

November 11, 2021 - 7:30am

The United States immunized around 900,000 children aged five-to-11 against Covid in the first week the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for them, a White House official says Wednesday.

Roughly 700,000 more have made appointments at pharmacies, White House Covid coordinator Jeff Zients tells reporters.

"The program is just getting up to full strength," he says, adding most of the shots were given in the last couple of days alone. — AFP

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