The willingness of residents of Paranaque City to be inoculated with Russian-made coronavorus disease (COVID-19) Sputnik V is 'overwhelming', vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Tuesday, May 4.
Galvez, chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, made the remark as he graced the initial rollout of Sputnik V at the Ayala by the Bay along Macapagal Boulevard.
"We are very happy dahil nakita natin ang uptake sa Sputnik V ay mataas. Supposed to be 1,000 lang ang ide-deliver natin. Now we need to have an emergency storage for another batches kasi nakita natin overwelming ang reception ng mga taga-Paranaque (We are very happy because we have seen that the uptake of Sputnik V is high. Supposed to be we would only deliver 1,000 . Now we need to have an emergency storage for another batches because we see the overwhelming reception among Paranaque residents)," he said.
The government accepted the first batch of 15,000 doses of Sputnik V last May 1. It is part of the 10 million doses procured by the government from Russia which can be expanded up to 20 million doses, Galvez said. For this month, another 485,000 doses of the Gamaleya Research Institute-manufactured vaccines are set for delivery in the country.
The initial doses of Sptunik Vwere distributed in five cities in Metro Manila namely Paranaque, Manila, Makati, Muntinlupa, and Taguig for the conduct of pilot testing.
"We are very happy that the second vaccine that we procured is well accepted by the Filipino people," Galvez said. The other brand of vaccine procured by the government is CoronaVac from Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech. The country also received vaccine donations from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca through the Covax facility earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino "Marcy" Teodoro reportedly questioned the government's priority areas for the distribution of Sputnik V after it failed to secure initial doses despite having in their city the cold storage facility for the Russian vaccines.
The initial batch of Sputnik V that arrived last May 1 was brought to the cold storage facility of third-party logistics provider Pharmaserv Express Inc. in San Roque, Marikina.
Galvez apologized to Teodoro and asked for understanding as he said that the country has still a limited supply of the Russian vaccines.
"Wag po mag-alala si Mayor Marcy, sa susunod na delivery mas marami po ang makukuha niya. Sa ngayon po kasi very limited po ang pilot test natin (Mayor Marcy does not need to worry since we will allocate more doses for him in the next delivery. Right now, we have a very limited supply for our pilot test)," he said.
According to the Department of Health, Sputnik V has an efficacy rate of 91.6 percent while it is also proven to be 100 percent effective to avoid developing moderate and severe symptoms.
It is taken in two doses, 21 days apart and shall be stored at a cold storage facility with a temperature of negative 18 degrees Celsius (frozen solution).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Sputnik V on March 19, 2021.