Putin vows more Sputnik V shots for PH

Published June 2, 2021, 10:19 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Russian President Vladimir Putin committed to increasing the volume of deliveries of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines as the Philippines and Russia celebrated 45 years of diplomatic relations on June 2.

File photo of President Duterte’s bilateral meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia in October 2019. (Malacañang photo)

The Office of the President (OP) made the statement after President Duterte and President Putin held a telesummit on Wednesday.

In its statement, the OP said Putin assured Duterte that the Philippines will receive more of their COVID-19 vaccines.

“President Putin said that Russia will increase the volume of deliveries of Sputnik V vaccines to the Philippines,” the OP’s statement read.

During their phone conversation, President Putin highlighted Russia’s readiness to further enhance bilateral engagement with the Philippines in various areas, including COVID-19 vaccine access.

For his part, Duterte thanked Putin for his country’s generosity to the Philippines during the pandemic.

“The President also thanked President Putin for making Sputnik V available to the Philippines and reiterated the importance of the expeditious delivery of ordered vaccines,” the OP wrote in its statement.

So far, the Philippines has received 80,000 shots of Sputnik V vaccines. The vaccines arrived in three shipments last month with 15,000 shots for each of the first two shipments while the remaining 50,000 doses arrived on May 30.

In August last year, President Duterte thanked Russia for offering its COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines. He said he was willing to be the first to get the shot and even do it publicly. Duterte, however, got the Sinopharm vaccine last month.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had said that the Philippines has secured a total of 10 million doses of Sputnik V, but the contract was expandable to around 20 million.

The first 10 million doses will be delivered to the country in tranches within a four-month period.