Delivery of up to 15,000 doses of the first batch of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine shots in the country was delayed due to “logistical challenges,” according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.
Vaccines were expected to arrive on Wednesday night but according to Galvez, the cargo is fully booked and sometimes flights are diverted.
“We would like to inform the public that the expected arrival of 15,000 pilot run doses of Gamaleya’s Sputnik V tonight, April 28, has been postponed due to logistical challenges on the shipment of the vaccines. We will update the public as soon as we receive advice from Gamaleya regarding the final delivery date of the initial doses of Sputnik,” said Galvez.
Sputnik V would have been the third vaccine brand to come to the country after skyrocketing distribution and injection using Sinovac vaccines from China and AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility.
The storage temperature requirement on the Sputnik V, which is at -18 degrees Celsius, is lower, compared to the Sinovac and AstraZeneca which have a required temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
The efficacy of Sputnik V against symptomatic COVID-19 is said to be 91.6 percent while it can prevent moderate and severe cases from 100 percent, according to the Department of Health.
Galvez explains delay in Sputnik V delivery
Last month, the Gamaleya Research Institute’s coronavirus disease vaccine has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration.
However, the vaccine could not be given to 17-year-olds and under, FDA director-general Eric Domingo said earlier.
“[Sputnik V, AstraZeneca] and also Pfizer [are safe for senior citizens]… Pfizer is for 16 and above, AstraZeneca is for 18 and above and Sputnik is for 18 and above,” said Domingo at a press briefing.
“It is decided that all conditions for an EUA are present and the benefits of using the vaccine outweigh the potential risk.”
Five cities in Metro Manila will receive the first batch of Sputnik V vaccine.
Makati City prepared carriers and installed a bio-freezer at the Makati Coliseum, which will be used as a vaccination site for the vaccine.