15,000 doses of Sputnik V, the COVID-19 vaccines made in Russia, will be distributed to 5 local governments in Metro Manila on Monday, the Department of Health said this Sunday.
Dr. Napoleon Arevalo, director of the DOH field implementation and coordination team, explained that the distribution of Sputnik V vaccines to local governments with cold storage capacity was initially limited.
Sputnik V’s required storage temperature is -18 degrees Celsius.
So on Monday, the vaccines will be given only in Manila, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Taguig.
Sputnik V can be given to people aged 18 and over but health care workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities are still a priority.
“Ang ating instruction, once the local government has already received the vaccines, they can start [administering],” said Arevalo.
The second dose of Sputnik V should be given 28 days after the first dose.
According to the DOH, the first batch of Sputnik V – which arrived in the country on Saturday – will be used for a simulation or pilot run in preparation for the arrival of a larger volume of vaccines.
Sputnik V vaccine to be distributed in 5 Metro Manila cities
This May, an additional 485,000 doses of the Russian vaccine are expected to arrive in the country.
According to testing car Vince Dizon, local government units (LGUs) are constantly preparing to receive and use Sputnik V vaccines.
“Kasi ang Sputnik medyo delicate ang handling, so tinrain nang maigi ang mga health workers ni [Taguig] Mayor Lino [Cayetano] para maayos ang ating pagbabakuna,” said Dizon.
“Nagte-training na rin ang iba-ibang LGUS sa [National Capital Region] para mag-handle ng Sputnik,” he added.
In a statement, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that a pilot run of vaccination using the Russian vaccine will improve the country’s logistical capabilities.
Galvez also said 10 million doses of the vaccine have been secured by the government to arrive in the country “in tranches” within 4 months.
As of April 30, 1.9 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Philippines. Of that number, more than 280,000 have already completed their second twelve.