ILOILO CITY – The provinces of Antique and Aklan received the first batch of Sputnik V, the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccines, intended for Western Visayas region.
Antique province was the first recipient of the Sputnik V when 2,400 vials were delivered last July 6 while another 2,400 vials were delivered to Aklan province the day after or July 7.
The Department of Health (DOH) started the distribution of the Russian vaccines manufactured by Gamaleya Research Institute, a branch of Russia’s Ministry of Health.
The two provinces have the cold storage facilities that can handle Sputnik V, which requires temperature of two to eight degrees Celsius.
Sputnik V also poses a challenge to health officials as it requires that it has to be used within two hours after it has been taken out of the freezer.
“This is very sensitive given the freezing point,” said Irene Dulduco, Health Promotion and Education Officer of the Antique Provincial Health Office.
Dulduco pointed out that the provincial government has to choose which towns in Antique province gets to avail Sputnik V given the two-hour time window of its usage.
“Otherwise, the vaccine’s efficacy will be compromised,” Dulduco explained.
The Sputnik V is currently in San Jose de Buenavista, the provincial capital of Antique.