MANILA - The Philippines is expecting some 20 million doses of Russia-made Sputnik V in the coming months, with the first 500,000 arriving this month, COVID-19 vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Tuesday.
Negotiations are still ongoing and the supply agreement would be signed this week, he said. The government is expecting that the total number of doses would arrive over 4 months, he added.
Sputnik V, which has been granted an emergency use authorization by local regulators, may be used on senior citizens, said Galvez. This is beneficial after the supply of AstraZeneca shots has reportedly ran out.
"Pwede po siyang gamitin po sa elderly, so from 18 and above. So 'yun po ang gagamitin namin at 'yun po ang maganda dahil at least in the absence of AstraZeneca, 'yun po ang pwede namin pong gamitin," he told ANC's Headstart.
(We can use this on the elderly, so from 18 and above. We can use this and the good thing is at least in the absence of AstraZeneca, we can use this.)
Galvez said he believes Gamaleya Institute will be able to deliver the vaccines on time.
"Considering na ang nakikita natin na maganda ang production ng Russia and at the same time, they are supporting only the developing countries," he said.
(Considering that we're seeing that there's good production in Russia and at the same time, they are only supporting the developing countries.)
He added, the company also offered another 20 million doses should the Philippines need to order more. He also disclosed that the government got these jabs lower than the $10 price tag of the Sputnik V.
The Philippines is looking to vaccinate some 70 percent of its population to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. It started its rollout in March and so far has about 3 million doses from Sinovac and AstraZeneca in its arsenal.
Per the monitoring of ABS-CBN News, about 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the Philippines as of Sunday. This reflects 0.19 percent of the target so far.