The delayed delivery of the additional Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines will not compromise the efficacy of the first shots initially given to Filipinos, Malacañang assured the public Wednesday.
According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the Sputnik V vaccine’s efficacy rate is actually expected to increase with a longer interval between the first dose and second dose.
Roque made the statement after vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the delivery of 50,000 doses of Russian-made vaccines this month has been delayed due to certain upgrades on the vaccine. The country has received 180,000 doses of Sputnik V jabs since May.
Roque, however, said those who got the first Sputnik V jabs have nothing to worry about the delayed delivery of the Russian-made jabs.
He noted that Gamaleya Research Institute, manufacturer of Sputnik V, has sought to revise the interval period between the two doses to around 12 weeks or around three months.
The two doses Sputnik V vaccines, recommended for persons age 18 and above, have been initially advised to be taken at least 21 days apart.
“Walang problema because in fact, nagkaroon na po ng communication ‘yung EUA ng Sputnik V ay papa-amendahan po. Apparently, mas mataas po ang efficacy kung mas matagal ‘yung period ng first dose sa second dose (There is no problem because in fact, there has been a communication seeking to amend the EUA of Sputnik V. Apparently, the efficacy will be higher if the period between the first and second doses is longer),” Roque said during a media interview at a hotel in Parañaque City.
“I think it will be almost the same as AstraZeneca na 12 weeks so magpapa-amenda nga po sila na mas ideal na mas matagal ‘yung second dose so wala pong epekto ‘yung kaunting delay na na-incur (so they will seek an amendment that it will be ideal to wait longer for a second dose so there is no effect if a delay is incurred). It will even be more ideal for efficacy na ma-delay ‘yung second dose ng Sputnik V (to delay the second dose of the Sputnik V),” he added.
Citing information from the Russian side, Galvez had said the arrival of the 50,000 Sputnik V vaccines would be “deferred to a later date due to ongoing upgrades and latest developments on the vaccine.” Local government units have been informed about the possible rescheduling of the second shot of the Russian jabs for their constituents, according to Galvez.
“I think ang importante is huwag kayong mag-alala (I think the important thing is you should not worry) the delay will even increase the efficacy,” Roque said.
The country has so far secured 14.2 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, including 180,000 Sputnik V jabs. Around 20 million of the Russian-developed doses are expected to be delivered this year.