DFA chief Locsin pushes for Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2021 04:18 PM

DFA chief Locsin pushes for Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine 1
Empty vials of the second dose of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine are pictured at the San Martin hospital, in La Plata, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, January 21, 2021. Agustin Marcarian, Reuters/file

MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Thursday said he was “turning every stone” to get to the country the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. 

In a tweet, Locsin said it is the vaccine that he would “trust” his life to, citing a review of The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal of the vaccine.

“I’m turning every stone to get Sputnik V in. It is the one I will trust my life to. The Lancet review is definitive,” Locsin said, quoting a tweet by an unverified account "Sputnik V" on Feb. 2. 

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Sputnik said its “91.6 percent efficacy overall & 100 percent for severe cases have been validated by internationally peer reviewed data.”

“With logistics at +2 +8C and <$10/shot, Sputnik V is a vaccine for all humankind,” according to the tweet

First greeted with skepticism, experts have since been convinced of the effectiveness of the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, with positive results published in The Lancet medical journal. 

The development represents a scientific and political victory for Russia. 

Sputnik V has been approved in more than 15 countries, including ex-Soviet nations like Belarus and Armenia, allies like Venezuela and Iran, but also South Korea, Argentina, Algeria, Tunisia, and Pakistan. 

The Philippines planned to buy 20 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccines as regulators target to approve its emergency use this month.

But the Food and Drug Administration earlier February said it was unlikely that the emergency use application of Russia's Gamaleya Institute for the Sputnik V would be approved within the month. 

The Philippines has lagged behind some of its Asian neighbors in securing COVID-19 shots, with which it hopes to inoculate up to 70 million people or two-thirds of the population this year, starting this February. None of the shots have arrived as of this posting. 

— Report from Willard Cheng and Agence France-Presse

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