MANILA - The Philippines on Friday welcomed its first 5,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik Light donated by Kremlin, the single-shot version of their flagship COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.
Aside from this, the country also received 2,805,000 more government-bought Sputnik V jabs, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said.
The shots arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 past 2 p.m. via AirBridge Cargo flight RU9230.
The delivery raises the country's total vaccine arrivals to 133.16 million, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed.
WHAT IS SPUTNIK LIGHT?
The single-dose vaccine developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute was approved for emergency use in the Philippines last August. It had shown 79.4 percent efficacy when it was first authorized for use in Russia.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. had said the country was poised to order 10 million doses of Sputnik Light.
Russia has already said that subsequent research showed Sputnik Light demonstrated 70 percent effectiveness against the Delta variant three months after injection.
Russian authorities also said the single-dose vaccine could be used as a "main vaccine" or as booster.
Food and Drug Administration Director-General Eric Domingo said Sputnik Light's EUA in the country was amended to be included as a "heterologous booster."
"Ibig pong sabihin maaari po siyang ibigay na pangatlong dose sa mga pasyente na nakatanggap ng ibang bakuna," said the FDA chief.
(This means it can be given as a third dose to a patient who received a different vaccine.)
The Philippines aims to vaccinate at least 54 million of the country's eligible population by the end of the year.
As of Thursday, the country has fully vaccinated nearly 33 million individuals, while almost 41 million are partially immunized from the respiratory disease.
— with a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News; Reuters