PH rolls out use of Sputnik Light as COVID vaccine booster

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2022 01:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2022 03:13 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Russia's single dose vaccine Sputnik Light can now be used as a booster shot for different types of COVID vaccine, the Department of Health said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration in November amended the jab's emergency use authorization to allow its use "as a heterologous booster" or a third dose following a primary series of a different vaccine brand.

"Maaari nang iturok ang Sputnik Light bilang booster shot matapos ang primary series doses," Health Undersectrary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters.

(Sputnik Light can now be administered following the primary series doses.)

Sputnik Light was found to have neutralizing antibodies against the omicron variant when used as a booster shot for those inoculated with Sputnik V, experts earlier said. 

The jab is also beneficial both for those who have contracted COVID-19 and those who have not gotten infected, according to Dr. Liza Gonzales, associate dean at the UP Manila College of Medicine and a member of the vaccine expert panel.

"It shows that in those previously infected but who were asymptomatic the neutralizing antibodies vs omicron is 87.5 percent, and for those with mild to moderate infection following vaccination the neutralizing antibodies is detected in 100 percent of the samples," she said.

Meantime, those who were inoculated with Sinopharm as their primary series of vaccines can now get booster shots, Vergeire said.

Pregnant women, however cannot receive Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines, she added.

Only individuals aged 18 and above are eligible for booster shots, which can be received 3 months after the second dose or 2 months after the inoculation of one-shot jab Janssen, the spokesperson reiterated.