COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa and Parañaque to receive Russian vaccines

It has been reported by GMA News that the initial batch of COVID-19 (China Virus) vaccines from Russia called Sputnik V has finally arrived and the South Metro Manila cities of Muntinlupa and Parañaque are among the five National Capital Region (NCR) to receive them. To be clear, the said vaccines are only 15,000 doses and the five NCR cities will get an equal share of three thousand doses each.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the news report. Some parts in bold…

In an interview on “Dobol B TV,” Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the five cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) were chosen because they have “appropriate” cold storage facility for the Sputnik V  vaccine.

She said the five cities are Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Manila, and Parañaque, which will get 3,000 doses each of the vaccine.

“Mayroon silang (five chosen cities) cold-chain ready facility na mag fit (that is desirable),” said Cabotaje, adding that  Sputnik V needs to be stored in a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius.

Also, Cabotaje said simulations for the vaccines will be conducted by the Parañaque City government in partnership with the private sector.

Further, she said the Makati City LGU has partnered with Makati Medical Center to deploy the vaccines.

On the other hand, Cabotaje noted that Sputnik V can be administered to Filipinos ages 18 and above. She said there were no side effects reported from other countries, so far.

Sputnik V’s second dose must be given 21 days after the first shot was injected, Cabotaje added.

Asked when the remaining 485,000 Sputnik V doses will arrive, Cabotaje said: “It will depend on the vaccine availability and shipping logistics.”  The national government earlier said that it expects the remaining batches of Sputnik V to be delivered this May.

Moreover, Cabotaje said the ordered doses would be sent in batches to allow Russia to study the country’s vaccine deployment process.

“They sent small doses first because they want to know how we administer their vaccines so that the drugs won’t be wasted,” Cabotaje said in Filipino.

On Saturday, the plane carrying the trial-order doses of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute vaccine landed in Manila. Its arrival was delayed twice due to logistical concerns.

Meanwhile, Sputnik V’s importation has recently been flagged by a Brazilian health regulator’s technical staff over “critical issues” on its efficacy rate and safety.

But earlier, the Philippine FDA said Sputnik V has a 91% efficacy rate.

Those are very interesting details. The Russian vaccine had a high efficacy rate from the local Food and Drug Administration although the regulators of Brazil rejected it resulting a potential lawsuit. Brazil’s regulators defended their decision. The report published by Science Magazine states: A confusing and unusually nasty fight broke out this week over the safety of a Russian COVID-19 vaccine known as Sputnik V after a Brazilian health agency declined on Monday to authorize its import because of quality and safety concerns. The stakes escalated yesterday when the Twitter account officially associated with the vaccine said “Sputnik V is undertaking a legal defamation proceeding” against Brazil’s regulators.

In an online press conference several hours later, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) defended its decision, maintaining that documentation from some of the Russian facilities making Sputnik V shows that one of its two doses contains adenoviruses capable of replication, a potential danger to vaccine recipients. The vaccine uses two different adenoviruses, which cause the common cold, to deliver the gene for the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVD-19. Both are supposed to be stripped of a key gene that allows them to replicate.

The Monday announcement left many scientists and media outlets believing Anvisa had directly tested Sputnik V for replicating adenoviruses, which would be unusual for a regulatory agency. But Anvisa has since clarified—it had not and was relying on information provided by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the Moscow-based developer of the vaccine.

For more information, I encourage you to read the article in full. Lots of really technical information to read and understand.

In closing this, let me ask you readers from Muntinlupa and Parañaque…if you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 yet, are you willing to get injected with Sputnik V vaccine when your turn happens? Why?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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