By Lade Jean Kabagani
FINALLY IN PH. Qatar Airways carried 15,000 doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines from Moscow and landed at NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay on Saturday (May 1, 2021). The vaccines were then taken to the PharmaServ Express cold-chain storage facility in Marikina City. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P.Alfiler)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – The “mini-rollout” of the newly delivered Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V from Russia will not only improve the government’s vaccination program but will also prepare implementing units on how to handle the jabs once more doses arrive next month.
The 15,000 doses, delivered by a Qatar Airways flight from Moscow via Doha on Saturday afternoon, will be divided among Taguig, Manila, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, and Makati.
The next batch of 485,000 doses are expected within May.
“As this is the first tranche of the scheduled deliveries from Sputnik V, we are very excited to roll out the initial 15,000 first doses as we reassess our country’s logistics capability to handle such highly sensitive vaccines with minus 18 degrees cold-chain requirement,” said National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., in a statement.
Galvez likewise thanked the Direct Investment Fund of Russia and Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov for personally delivering the first tranche of the vaccines produced by pharmaceutical company Gamaleya Research Institute.
“Despite the shortage in global supply and the great demand for anti-Covid vaccines, the Russian government is committed to deliver vaccines for our country and help contain the ongoing surge in the National Capital Region,” he said.
“With these additional doses, we will provide our countrymen with an added layer of protection against the virus, and realize our goal of inoculating 50 to 70 million Filipinos by year-end,” Galvez further stated.
The government procured 10 million doses of Sputnik V, which Galvez said may possibly double.
“The Sputnik V doses that will be arriving this month will provide a major boost to our national immunization program, as we simultaneously immunize priority groups of healthcare workers, senior citizens, and people with comorbidities,” he said.
Galvez urged anew the public to continue observing the minimum public health standards and community quarantine protocols, while the nationwide vaccination is ongoing.
“Please remember that the best vaccine is the one in your arm. So please get the shot once it becomes available in your area. Let us continue to protect ourselves, our family, and our community. Let us work together to beat Covid-19,” he said. (PNA)