First batch of Sputnik Light, 2.8 million doses of Sputnik V, arrive in the PHL

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ABOUT 2,805,000 doses of government-procured Sputnik V (1,402,500 doses for Component 1 and 1,402,500 doses for Component 2) plus 5,000 doses of the single-shot Sputnik V Light COVID-19 vaccine, which was donated by the Russian government, arrived today at NAIA Terminal 2 at 1:45pm via AirBridge Cargo Flight RU9230

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III mentioned to reporters who covered the arrival of the vaccines, that the Russian Ambassador to the Philippines, Marat Pavlov, Sputnik Light can be used as possible booster shot to provide protection for as long as eight months and beyond.

“We’re going to have our vaccine expert panel to review the documents so we can make amendments to its EUA,” he said, adding that the Sputnik Light can go to geographically isolated areas in the country.

For his part, Pavlov said the arrival of the Sputnik vaccines is a confirmation that Russia fulfilled its obligation to send 10 million doses of vaccines to the Philippines. “We would also like to continue our cooperation by introducing to the country Sputnik Light, which is good for both regular vaccination and as a booster since the Philippine already granted it with an EUA.”

Meanwhile, National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., expressed his gratitude to the Russian government and the Russian embassy for facilitating the delivery of the 2.8 million Sputnik V vaccines, which completes the Philippine government’s procurement contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund for the supply of 10 million doses of Sputnik V.

The completion of the contract is a testament to the relationship between our countries, which transcends diplomatic relations. It also demonstrates Russia’s strong commitment to help provide greater vaccine accessibility to all nations, including the Philippines,” he added.

As for the procurement of Sputnik Light, Galvez said negotiations are already underway. “We are confident that these talks will yield positive results as we diversify our vaccine portfolio, scale up our vaccine throughput, and achieve herd immunity by the first quarter of next year,” he further commented.

He also hinted that the Sputnik V vaccines may also be deployed during the National Vaccination Day, and the possibility of using the Sputnik Light for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Regions in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which Galvez said still has a low vaccination rate of only 11 percent. “It is important that we give Sputnik Light to areas that have not received protection.”

Among those who witnessed the arrival of the Sputnik vaccines were DOH Usec. Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taiño, DOH Director Ariel Valencia, Philippine Archipelago International Trading Corporation (PAITC) Chairman Benito Yap Aw, and PAITC President Olivia Limpe Aw.

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