President Duterte has expressed gratitude to Russia for delivering the initial batch of coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines.
The country recently received the 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines developed by Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute. The vaccines, procured by the government, will be rolled out in five cities in Metro Manila, which reported high coronavirus cases.
In his televised address, the President thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the vaccine supply for the Philippines.
"With the added shipment arriving yesterday from Russia, let me thank the Russian people, the government and President Putin for they kindhearted support for the Filipino," Duterte said in a televised address Monday, May 3.
The Russian-made vaccines were supposed to arrive on April 28 but was pushed back to May 1 due to lack of direct flight between Russia and the Philippines. The additional 485,000 doses are expected to arrive this month.
The Russian vaccines will augment the country's supplies to inoculate Filipinos against the coronavirus disease. The government started its free inoculation drive early March after getting initial vaccine supplies from China and COVAX facility.
Duterte, in his speech, assured the nation that the government was working to address the pandemic and administer vaccines to the people.
"We are all working diligently and truthfully. Gusto namin talaga makatulong (We really want to help)," he said.
With the arrival of more vaccines, he noted that the vaccination drive will continue.
"We have plenty of Filipinos to vaccinate," he said. "One of these days everybody has to fall in line by sector," he added.