Sputnik V vaccinees can wait 6 months for 2nd dose – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — As delays hit the delivery of additional Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines from Russia, the Department of Health (DOH) assured those who have received their first dose that they could wait up to six months for the second shot.
“The first dose of Sputnik can actually confer a high efficacy rate. I think they’re reporting it at already 80 percent efficacy rate,” Dr. Alethea de Guzman, director of the Epidemiology Bureau of the DOH, said in an online briefing by Malacañang on Tuesday.
De Guzman said the government’s vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, is working to ensure the next delivery of the Sputnik V doses.
As of Aug. 31, 380,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine have reached the country, of which 327,125 have been used. Data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that 60,952 people have been fully inoculated and 205,221 partly inoculated with the vaccine.
Sputnik V is among those authorized by the FDA for emergency use, together with Sputnik Light, a single dose vaccine also developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.
Full approval for Pfizer
Meanwhile, a party list congressman representing senior citizens has called for full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for minors.
Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes, who also heads the House committee on senior citizens’ affairs, said the FDA should take its cue from its American counterpart and grant full approval of the vaccine’s commercial availability for its use on adolescents 12 to 17 years old.
The full approval granted last month by the FDA in the United States is for the vaccine’s commercial availability for adolescents 16 years old and above.
The FDA here has only gone as far as amending its emergency use authorization on the Pfizer vaccine in June to include the 12 to 15 age group. This month, the agency gave the Moderna vaccine emergency use authorization for the 12 to 17 years old.
Virus case update
The DOH said it logged 18,012 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total case count to 2,121,308 cases.
Cases reports on Tuesdays are usually lower because of fewer tests conducted on weekends. At least 13 laboratories were also unable to submit their data on time, the DOH said.
The department warned that cases may climb in the coming days. The DOH on Monday reported 22,415 cases, marking the fourth day in a row that new infections exceeded 20,000.
There are now 156,637 active cases, of which the majority or 92 percent are mild, 3.4 percent are asymptomatic, 2.49 percent are moderate, 1.4 percent are severe and 0.7 percent are critical.
The positivity rate continued to rise, with 28.1 percent of those tested on Sunday turning out positive. This means more than one in four individuals, or 16,067 of 57,180 tested, were found to have COVID-19.
There were 18,945 new recoveries, raising the total number of survivors to 1,928,173.
But 161 more patients have succumbed to the disease, bringing the death toll to 34,498.
The DOH said 35 duplicates were removed from the total case count. Another 105 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths following final validation.
—WITH REPORTS FROM JULIE M. AURELIO, PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU AND INQUIRER RESEARCH
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.