DOH: Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines to be sent to LGUs with required storage capability

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2021 03:24 PM

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MANILA - Doses of the Russia-developed Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine that are expected to arrive in the country will only be sent to local government units meeting storage and handling standards, the Department of Health said Saturday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said these vaccines, developed by the Gamaleya Institute, should be stored in a dark place with temperatures not over -18 degrees Celsius— a requirement that other LGUs cannot meet.

The temperature standards for Sputnik V are lower than that of Sinovac and AstraZeneca, which can be placed in normal storage facilities as both require temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. 

The two brands are currently in use in the country's COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Vergeire said because of such storage requirement, Sputnik V cannot be distributed to all regions. 

"...[P]agdating ng Sputnik V, mayroon lang pong assigned LGUs because they have the capability to store 'yung said vaccines... Kaya hindi natin maibigay sa lahat ng ating regions," Vergeire said. 

(This is why when the Sputnik V vaccines arrive there are assigned LGUs because they have the capability to store the said vaccines... We cannot give it to all regions.) 

The DOH previously said it was expecting the arrival of Pfizer and Sputnik V vaccines by the end of the month. 

Both vaccines already have emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration— a pre-requisite to distribution and use in the country. 

Last Thursday, some 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines arrived in the Philippines. The shots are expected to be rolled out to local government units over the weekend, according to Vergeire. 

Government data shows that as of April 22, around 1.6 million Filipinos have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including 200,000 who have received both doses of the two-jab regimen. 

The total inoculations is far from the target 70 million to achieve herd immunity.