Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Sputnik V vaccines’ arrival not in Duterte’s schedule

THE EXPECTED arrival of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines on Wednesday is not in President Rodrigo Duterte’s schedule, Malacañang said on Tuesday.   

In a press briefing in Cebu City, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte may likely skip the arrival of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines since the 15,000 vaccine doses arriving on Wednesday are only considered “trial” order.

Some 480,000 more Sputnik V vaccine doses are expected to arrive the next day, according to the National Task Force against Covid-19.

Wala po sa schedule niya pero ang dadating bukas ay kakaunti pa lang, 15,000 pa lang kasi ito yung kumbaga trial order kasi negative 20 ang kinakailangan na storage facility ng Sputnik V (It’s not in his schedule but the vaccine doses arriving tomorrow are only a few, 15,000 doses because this is a trial order because it needs -20º C storage facility),” Roque said.

Roque, however, raised the possibility that Duterte might welcome the arrival of the bulk of Sputnik V vaccines.

“Titignan po natin kung magkakaroon ang Pangulo na salubong kung dumating na po bulko ng Sputnik V. Inaasahan pa po natin ang mga 485,000 Spuntik V etong buwana na eto (Let’s see if the President will welcome the arrival of the bulk of Sputnik V. We expect around 485,000 doses of Sputnik V to arrive this month),” he added.

Last April 5, Roque said Duterte will not be attending the ceremonial turnover of other Covid-19 vaccine brands to the Philippines.

He said Duterte would not need to physically show up to welcome the arrival of other vaccine brands since it would be expected that more vaccines will be arriving amid efforts to boost production.

“Matter of course na marami nang bakunang darating ‘no as supplies ease up worldwide ‘no. So iyon lang po ‘yun, hindi na siya physically na pupunta sa airport para salubungin iyong mga bakuna (Matter of course that many vaccines are coming as supplies ease up worldwide. So that's it, he won't physically go to the airport to receive vaccines),” he said in an earlier presser.

On Feb. 28, Duterte personally welcomed the arrival of 600,000 doses of China-donated Sinovac Biotech-made "CoronaVac" Covid-19 vaccines.

He also welcomed the arrival of 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated to the Philippines through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility on March 4.

The third and last time he personally attended a turnover ceremony was when 1 million doses of CoronaVac vaccines purchased by the government from Sinovac arrived on March 29.

However, Duterte opted to skip the arrival of additional doses of both Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines. Instead, he sent representatives to witness the arrival of the vaccines.

The Philippines aims to secure 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from several companies to inoculate an initial 50 to 70 million Filipinos this year.

Russia is the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine.

Based on human trials of the shot, Russian developers said Sputnik V was found to be 91.4 percent effective in providing protection from Covid-19. (By Azer Parrocha)

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