PASAY CITY (19 November 2021) — The Philippines received on Friday 5,000 doses of the single-shot Sputnik Light vaccine donated by the Russian government, as well 2.8 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines, which completed the delivery of the 10-million doses procured by the national government.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. welcomed the arrival of the Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines, as he thanked the Russian government for the donation.

“Today, we received 5,000 doses of the single-shot Sputnik Light donated by the Russian government, which will help to further expand our country’s supply inventory. We extend our deepest gratitude to the Russian government and its people for this act of kindness and compassion to our country,” he said.

Galvez said the Philippines continues to negotiate for more doses of Sputnik Light, as this will enable the country to continue ramping up its vaccine throughput.

“Baka pumunta dito ang Russian counterparts natin. Ang maganda dito, very affordable ang price. We have some inkling that we can negotiate 10 to 20 million doses of Sputnik Light, for next year’s booster shots,” he said.

The vaccine czar said the 5,000 initial doses of Sputnik Light will be deployed to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to help LGUs ramp up their vaccination output.

Galvez also said he plans to visit the BARMM on December 1 to personally oversee the conduct of the National Vaccination Day in the region.

The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration approved the Emergency Use Authorization for Sputnik Light in August of this year.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said the Sputnik Light jab is safe and highly effective, as evidenced by real-world vaccination data from several countries.

According to the RDIF, Sputnik Light has a 70% efficacy rate against the Delta variant during the first three months after inoculation based on an analysis conducted by the Gamaleya Center.

Moreover, the RDIF said the single-dose vaccine has also been proven to be safe and effective after it demonstrated an efficacy rate of between 78.6 to 83.7% among the elderly in Argentina and 93.5% in Paraguay who were inoculated with the vaccine.

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov also expressed confidence that the negotiations for more Sputnik Light doses will yield positive results.

“We would like to continue our cooperation with introduction on the Philippine market, also with our product Sputnik Light. It could be used not only for the [primary] vaccination, but also for booster,” he said.

For his part, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said the country’s Vaccine Expert Panel will first review the documents on Sputnik Light before recommending its use for booster shots.

Completed delivery of Sputnik V

Meanwhile, the Russian government has completed the delivery of 10 million Sputnik V doses procured by the Philippine government on Friday, following its latest shipment of 2.8 million shots.

Galvez lauded Russia for fulfilling the procurement contract and for facilitating the shipment of the much-needed vaccine doses to the Philippines.

“The completion of this contract is a testament of the robust relationship between our countries which transcends diplomatic relations,” he said.

“Moreover, it demonstrates Russia’s strong commitment to help provide greater vaccine accessibility to all nations including the Philippines,” the vaccine czar added.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had earlier expressed his gratitude to the Russian government for giving the Philippines greater access to its life-saving vaccines.

As of November 19, the Philippines has received over 133.16 million COVID-19 vaccine doses coming from various manufacturers. ###