By Lade Jean Kabagani
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– The Philippines received 132,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine on Friday night.
The Sputnik V jab, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, consists of 82,200 doses of Component I and 50,000 doses of Component II.
Qatar Airways flight QR 928, from Moscow via Qatar, landed at the Bay 114 ramp of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City at about 10:30 p.m.
The vaccines were immediately transported to the PharmaServ Express cold-chain storage facility in San Roque, Marikina City.
The fresh shipment of the Russian jab is part of the 170,000 doses that were supposed to arrive on Wednesday. The delivery was, however, rescheduled due to logistical issues.
The latest delivery brought the country’s total doses of Sputnik V jabs to 312,200.
The remaining 37,800 doses of Sputnik V Component I are scheduled to arrive on Saturday.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said 40 percent to 50 percent of the newly arrived supply of Sputnik V vaccines would go to the areas under the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8, composed of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, Batangas, Rizal, Bulacan, Metro Davao, and Metro Cebu.
The rest of the vaccines, he added, would be distributed to other cities with readily available cold-chain facilities, particularly in regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon), and 4-A (Calabarzon).
“Some LGUs (local government units) have already prepared will be given these (jabs),” Galvez said. “And also some of them will go to the Visayas and Mindanao.”
He said the 50,000 doses of Sputnik V Component II would be allocated to those who have received their first doses.
The government is also eyeing to get a supply of single-dose Sputnik V light jabs from the Russian drugmaker, which will be delivered once the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves its use in the Philippines, Galvez said.
“As of this moment, the FDA is requesting for more information and data (about it)” he added.
Meanwhile, Galvez said there would be no restriction in the use of government-procured jabs.
“It will be given to priority sector(s) under categories A1 to A5,” he said.
While those vaccines from the COVAX Facility, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), will be given to the most vulnerable sector, such as health care workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.
Galvez said the Philippines has a total of 20,739,770 doses in the stockpile, including the latest delivery.
About 4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be delivered next week, including 2.5 million doses of Sinovac, 1.7 million doses of AstraZeneca, and more or less 500,000 doses of Pfizer, he said. (PNA)