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

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

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - April 13, 2021 - 11:16am

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. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 7, 2021 - 6:46pm

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)

May 7, 2021 - 6:46pm

The Department of Health announces the resumption of the use of AstraZeneca jab for all eligible population following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration and the DOH All Experts Group on Vaccines.

The health department urges the public to get their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 

"The benefits of additional protection against COVID-19 could only be achieved by completing both doses of the vaccine," the DOH says in a statement.

May 7, 2021 - 10:53am

The regional health minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said there is no basis for insinuations that COVID-19 vaccines are forbidden in Islam.

Medical workers from the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Maguindanao gave Bangsamoro Health Minister Bashary Latiph a Sinovac anti-coronavirus jab Thursday.

Latiph reiterated his appeal to residents in all cities and provinces in BARMM to ignore fallacies and assertions on Facebook by skeptics and pessimists who are not even medical practitioners that vaccines can do more harm than good.

“Listen only to BARMM’s Health Ministry, to the Department of Health and to health workers in provinces and in cities in the Bangsamoro region,” Latiph told reporters after he got an anti-COVID-19 shot. — The STAR/John Unson

May 5, 2021 - 9:51am

The Philippines approves the application of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Food and Drug Administration Director general Eric Domingo says it only took nine days to review the emergency use authority application.

"The known and potential benefits of Moderna, when used to prevent COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risks of the said vaccine," Domingo says during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

May 3, 2021 - 7:14pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has been vaccinated against COVID-19, reportedly with the Sinopharm vaccine.

May 3, 2021 - 10:24am

A total of 1,510 tourism frontline workers have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as of April 30, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says.

Workers from DOT-accredited and LGU-licensed quarantine/isolation facilities and non-quarantine DOT accredited accommodation establishments are included in the A4 Priority Group.

"We have also received word that LGUs who have already covered the majority of those in the A1 to A3 classification will also begin vaccinating those in the A4 group," Romulo-Puyat says in a statement.

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