As the government set to initially roll out the Sputnik V vaccine in Metro Manila, the country’s vaccine expert panel (VEP) said that the Russian-made vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was evaluated “very thoroughly” before it was approved for emergency use in the country.
“Ang Gamaleya COVID vaccine na Sputnik V ay in-evaluate ng vaccine expert panel nang (The Gamaleya COVID vaccine, Sputnik V, was evaluated by the vaccine expert panel) very thoroughly for safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy,” VEP chief Dr. Nina Gloriani said in a press briefing.
Gloriani made the assurance after Brazil stopped its import of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines over concerns that the jab supposedly carried a live version of the virus.
The vaccine expert explained that the VEP has submitted information regarding the vaccine to the Department of Health (DOH) in preparation for the rollout of the initial batch of vaccines in five cities in Metro Manila.
“Marami po kaming hininging mga datos na pinadala naman nila like ‘yung sa safety. Hiningi po namin lahat ng datos na ‘yun at binigay nilang lahat ‘yun (We asked for a lot of data which they sent like with regards to safety. We asked for all that data and they gave it all),” Gloriani said.
“In fairness, it was the most comprehensive set of documents that we receive from these vaccine companies,” she added.
After a delay, the first batch of 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines procured by the government from Russia arrived in the country on May 1.
The DOH earlier said the cities of Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Manila, and Parañaque will each receive 3,000 doses of the vaccine for the initial rollout.
She said the VEP believes that the vaccine will not have an issue as there were no concerns with its safety and efficacy in countries that are using the jab for the inoculation of its citizens against COVID-19.
“Sa palagay namin, wala pong issue kasi yung ibang mga countries, at least we have three in real world condition, wala naging problema sa safety or even sa efficacy nitong mga bakuna na ito (In our opinion, there is no issue because in other countries, and at least we have three in real world condition, there has been no problem with the safety or even the efficacy of these vaccines),” Gloriani said.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in March.
Based on the DOH data, the jab uses a non-replicating viral vector, and requires two doses with three weeks apart.
The DOH data also showed that the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 91.6 percent “against symptomatic COVID-19,” and 100 percent “against moderate or severe cases.”