Philippines in 'very advanced' talks for acquisition of Russian COVID-19 vaccine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2021 10:40 PM

Watch more News on iWantTFC

The Philippines is in "very advanced" negotiations to get a supply of the COVID-19 vaccine that Russia's Gamaleya Institute developed, Manila's ambassador to Moscow said on Monday. 

Manila is only waiting for additional "technical data" on the vaccine Sputnik V before the Food and Drug Administration decides on Gamaleya's application for emergency use authorization, said Amb. Carlos Sorreta. 

"Very advanced na ho iyong discussions natin on a technical level with Russia," he said in a press briefing. "Hinihintay lang natin ang additional information, technical data na hiningi ng Philippines." 

Philippines in 'very advanced' talks for acquisition of Russian COVID-19 vaccine 1
Vials of the Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine are seen at the Del-Pest Central Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, Feb 12, 2021. Zoltan Balogh, MTI/MTVA/Pool via Reuters

"At kapag nakuha na iyon, I think that’s the final step for our FDA to make a decision. And once they make a decision, the Russian side is ready to sit down and sign," he added. 

(Our discussions on a technical level with Russia are very advanced. We are just waiting for additional information, technical data the Philippines asked for. Once we get that, I think that’s the final step for our FDA to make a decision.)

The FDA is assessing the application for EUA of Gamaleya, and is awaiting documents from India’s Bharat Biotech for the same. So far, it has granted EUA to the vaccine candidates of Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

With the second highest of coronavirus infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has yet to launch its vaccination drive that aims to cover 70 million people this year. 

Authorities expect the arrival of 600,000 COVID-19 shots from Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Sinovac this month.