The Philippines received on late Friday night, June 11, a shipment of 100,000 doses of government-procured Sputnik V–the single biggest shipment of the Russian coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to arrive in the country.
A Qatar Airways plane (flight QR928) carrying the vaccines landed at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City at around 11 p.m.
From the plane, the vaccines were loaded into container trucks and brought to the cold storage facility of Pharmaserv Express, Inc. in Marikina City.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov graced the arrival ceremony for the life-saving jabs.
Due to the sensitivity of the vaccines, Galvez said that the fresh supply of Sputnik V vaccines will be brought to areas in National Capital Region (NCR)-plus 8.
“Because of the sensitivity of its cold chain requirement, it will be given to NCR-plus 8. We will also allot some supplies to cities like Baguio and those which have cold chain solution [capabilities],” Galvez said.
Sputnik V vaccines need to be stored at a cold chain facility with a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius (frozen solution), according to the Department of Health (DOH).
The vaccine czar assured the local government units (LGUs) in Visayas and Mindanao that are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases that they will get supplies from the previously delivered one million doses of Sinovac and 2.28 million doses of Pfizer. These vaccines arrived on June 10.
“Don’t worry ang ating mayors and governors na may surge ngayon, ang direktiba ng Pangulo ay bigyan kayo ng prayoridad (Our mayors and governors in areas that are experiencing a surge need not worry because the directive of the President is to give them priority),” Galvez said.
Friday’s arrival was the fourth shipment of Russian vaccine brand to the Philippines. This brought the total number of delivered Sputnik V jabs to 180,000.
Prior to this, Russia delivered 50,000 doses on May 30; 15,000 doses on May 12; and another 15,000 doses on May 1.
Meanwhile, the country’s total vaccine supply now stands at around 12.7 million.