Galvez: Delivery of 50,000 doses of Sputnik V will be delayed
MANILA, Philippines — The delivery of 50,000 doses of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, will be delayed due to “ongoing upgrades and latest developments on the vaccine,” National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.
Galvez said the NTF has received communication from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which finances the production of the vaccines, informing the Philippine government that the delivery of Sputnik V’s component II vaccines, will be “deferred to a later date.”
Sputnik V’s component II shots are intended as second doses for those vaccinated with the jab this month.
“RDIF has committed to updating the Philippine Government on the definite date of delivery of the vaccines,” Galvez said in a statement.
He added that the NTF has already informed local government units that have administered the first dose of Sputnik V that the schedule for the second dose will be pushed back and rescheduled.
“While this may be the case, we would like to emphasize that this unforeseen delay in the delivery will not in any way compromise the efficacy of the vaccines,” Galvez said.
He said that recipients are recommended to get two doses of the vaccines at least 21 days apart. Sputnik V maker, Gamaleya Institute, has also provided real-world data that the vaccine delivers an efficacy rate of 79.4% on the 28th day after the first dose.
He also pointed out that the vaccine, which is a viral vector-type jab, requires longer interval periods for the two shots.
“The same level of protection will be guaranteed if the second shot is taken later than scheduled. Please understand that the same principle is currently being applied for those who have missed their second dose due to illness and other medical conditions,” Galvez said.
He, however, still encourages individuals to take both doses of the vaccine.
“We seek your kind understanding that this development is beyond the control of the Philippine government. The manufacturer is seeking more ways to improve and upgrade the vaccine that would be more beneficial and would be more effective in battling the emergence of new variants,” the NTF chief implementer said.
“We will update the general public on the next delivery of Sputnik V vaccines as soon as the definite delivery dates have already been confirmed by the manufacturer,” he added.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Eric Domingo earlier said Gamaleya Institute is seeking an amendment to the emergency use authorization granted to Sputnik V so that there would be a longer interval, which will be up to 90 days, between the administration of two doses.
Sputnik V is administered in two doses three weeks apart.
The Philippines has so far received 180,000 doses of government-procured Sputnik V.
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