MANILA - The first shipment of 15,000 doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines is on the way to Manila from Moscow, after the delivery was earlier postponed.
In a Facebook post, Philippine Ambassador to Russia King Sorreta said the vaccines will arrive in Manila by May 1.
"First shipment of Sputnik V vaccines (15,000 doses) left today, 29 April, from Moscow and should be in Manila by 1 May. More to come in the next weeks and months. Great working with the DOH, DFA, Special Envoy for Russia and the other members of the IATF to make this happen," he wrote.
The Russian-made vaccines were supposed to arrive in the Philippines Wednesday night. The 15,000 shots Sputnik V, however, were not loaded on a Qatar Air commercial flight that was supposed to bring it to the Philippines.
The Department of Health said the first batch of Sputnik V jabs would be used for simulation or practice. The remaining 480,000 Sputnik V doses will arrive by the end of April, it said.
The Philippines has administered at least 1.7 million COVID-19 shots, as of Sunday. It aims to inoculate a third of its population or 50 to 70 million by end of the year to achieve herd immunity.
The country is expecting an "accelerated delivery" of COVID-19 vaccines beginning next month even as global production of the jabs is seen to stabilize only in June, vaccine "czar" Sec. Carlito Galvez earlier said.