The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 19 has granted an emergency use authorization for the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
FDA Director General Rolando Enrique Domingo said at an online press conference that the vaccine had met the requirements to receive the emergency use authorization. He added that interim data showed it was 91.6% effective against COVID-19 for those aged 18 and above.
“The known and potential benefits of the Gamaleya Sputnik V vaccine, when used to prevent COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risks of said vaccine as of date,” Domingo said.
Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that an initial batch of two million doses may arrive in April.
Developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in Russia, the Sputnik V vaccine becomes the fourth COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines to receive approval for emergency use.
The government began its vaccination program last March 1 following the arrival of 1.125 million doses of vaccines developed by Sinovac and by AstraZeneca.
The government said that it plans to administer 140.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for 70 million adults by December, starting with healthcare workers and the elderly.
The approval came as the Philippines reported nearly 20,000 new cases in the last four days, bringing the nationwide tally to 640,984 cases, according to the Department of Health.
The Philippines has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southeast Asia, coming after Indonesia.
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