Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday said the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccine may soon get the emergency use authorization (EUA) that could pave the way for the entry of 20 million doses to the country.
Locsin disclosed this in a tweet in reaction to the announcement made by vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. that 20 million doses of vaccines from Sinovac BioTech, the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, Novovax, and AstraZeneca are expected to be delivered to the Philippines in the second quarter of 2021 or sometime in April, May or June.
“Believe him and stop panicking. And in two weeks there’s the EUA for the Russian vaccine which could amount to another 20 million doses of the only Lancet peer-reviewed vaccine on the planet. Working on that,” he said in a tweet.
The Lancet, the prestigious peer-review medical journal, published a report last month stating that Russia’s Sputnik V is 91.6 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19. The same report suggests that the Russian vaccine is now among the top-performing vaccines along with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs that also reported over 90 percent efficacy. Shortly after the Lancet review was published, Locsin expressed his preference for the Sputnik V as his choice of COVID-19 jab.
“I’m turning every stone to get Sputnik V in. It is the one I will trust my life to. The Lancet review is definitive,” he said. The DFA chief even heaped praises on the Russians for “delivering on its decades-old promise to develop vaccines and for its excellence in research.”
Named after the world’s first satellite, the Sputnik V is developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and was registered in Russia on August 11, 2020.
Also on Tuesday, Locsin hinted that he will explore another possible source of vaccine supply from an undisclosed country whom he described as a “good friend.”
In a tweet, he thanked Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi for giving him a heads up on the possibility of securing additional COVID-19 supply from that country. “Just got a heads up from @energy Sec. Cusi on another possible source of available supply of vaccines. Everybody’s pitching in to help. Thanks, boss. Will ask today. That country is a good friend. I got great news from its ambassador about a signal honor conferred on our country,” he tweeted.