Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday prodded the government to procure a huge shipment of Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V after the vaccine candidate was found to be 91.6 percent “safe and effective.”
“I strongly urge my government to get a huge shipment of Sputnik,” Locsin said in a tweet, as he shared a link on the ad-interim analysis of the phase 3 data published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet.
While it is unlikely that the Sputnik will be made available soon, Locsin takes note of President Duterte’s closeness with Russian President Vladimir Putin as key to possible Philippine procurement of the vaccine.
“But our President is a very good friend of Putin,” Locsin said in a separate tweet.
The Lancet, in a tweet on Tuesday, said an interim analysis of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 trial involving nearly 20,000 participants suggests a two-dose regimen has an efficacy of 91.6 percent against symptomatic COVID-19.
It added that no serious adverse events were deemed to be associated with the Sputnik V vaccination.
The independent journal on medicine, however, pointed out that further research is still needed to confirm results in those belonging to unrepresented risk groups and non-white ethnicities.
In August last year, Russia approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use, becoming the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine.