House Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez on Wednesday urged the government to accelerate efforts to get more Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines into the country as takers of the Russian-made jabs fear losing the efficacy of the first dose of their shot.
Rodriguez said almost 300,000 Filipinos who were inoculated with Sputnik V are still waiting for their second dose, making them fear that their first shot would soon lose its efficacy.
The Cagayan de Oro City’s second district representative said some of his constituents have complained about the long delay in the arrival of the second dose of the vaccines.
“I have more than 12,000 of these vaccine takers who received their first jab in June and who were supposed to get the second shot in July. It is now September and there is still no supply,” Rodriguez said.
“I suppose this sense of fear, anxiety and uncertainty is shared by the more than 270,000 other Filipinos who had no choice but to take the Russian vaccine because that was the one delivered to vaccination centers like those in Cagayan de Oro by the Department of Health (DOH),” he lamented.
The lawmaker said he has written Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll and vaccine procurement czar Secretary Carlito Galvez appealing for the immediate delivery of Sputnik V to his city and other areas that received their first shipment.
Rodriguez pointed out it was the government who urged Filipinos not to be selective and that they should get whatever vaccine is available.
“Our constituents were forced to take Sputnik V because no other vaccine was available. But now they are in limbo and in fear. The government has left them hanging,” he said.
If the government cannot guarantee that vaccine supply from Russia is forthcoming, the solon said the government should come up with a contingent plan for those who received their first shot of Sputnik V.
“They should say so if our people will get Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or another jab as their second shot, or if they would repeat their vaccination all over again,” he said.