Metro Manila residents will be the recipients of the initial batch of 15,000 doses of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines upon its arrival on Wednesday, April 28, Malacañang said.
In his virtual press briefing, President spokesperson Harry Roque explained the Russian COVID-19 vaccine will be first distributed in the country’s capital region due to its cold storage requirement.
“Sa Metro Manila po dahil nga po sa cold storage requirement niya (It will be deployed in Metro Manila because of its storage requirement),” he said when asked by the media about the Sputnik V deployment.
Sputnik V, developed by Moscow’s Gamelaya Institute, requires a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius. This will be the first time the Philippines will handle vaccines that need a cold storage facility.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), the Russian vaccines will be received by four local government units in Metro Manila since they have the required cold storage facility.
A recent study showed Sputnik V is now 97.6 percent effective against COVID-19 and it performs well against virus mutations.
The Palace official said President Duterte will not be present to welcome the arrival of the initial batch of the Russian-made vaccines to the Philippines.
The bulk of the rest of the shipment comprising the 485,000 doses of Sputnik V will arrive within the month, Roque added.
The National Task Force against COVID-19 expects the arrival of the second tranche of the vaccine on Thursday, April 29, along with another 500,000 doses of Sinovac jabs from China.
The spokesman reiterated the Sputnik V vaccines arriving in the country were just a “trial order.”