After delays, first 15,000 doses of Sputnik V arrive in Philippines

After delays, first 15,000 doses of Sputnik V arrive in Philippines
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 — After being twice delayed, the first 15,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine arrived Saturday afternoon in the Philippines.

Logistical challenges, specifically the lack of direct flights from Russia and the difficulty of keeping the shots in sub-zero temperatures, hampered its delivery, which was originally scheduled on April 25, but pushed back to April 28, and pushed further to May 1.

Sputnik V is the first vaccine to be approved for use by a country and has been given an emergency use authorization by the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration.

The Philippines is eyeing 20 million doses of the Russian-made shot.

The Department of Health, however, said that not all local governments will receive the vaccine due to stringent handling and storage requirements, among them the need to be stored at temperatures not exceeding -18 degrees Celsius.

Sputnik V is taken in two doses, and has a 91.6% efficacy rate. Results from a peer-reviewed late-stage trial in The Lancet medical journal showed too that it is completely protective against severe forms of COVID-19. — Xave Gregorio



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