COVID-19 Crisis: Millions of Sputnik V vaccine doses plus 5,000 Sputnik Light vaccine doses in the Philippines

Last week, a few million brand new doses of Sputnik V vaccines arrived here in the Philippines and at the same time, the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine also arrived according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

You must be wondering what the differences between Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are. To understand things better, posted are excerpts about the two vaccines from SputnikVaccine.com for your reference. Some parts in boldface…

About Sputnik V

Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenovirus vector platform. It has been approved for use in 71 countries with a total population of 4 billion people.

The vaccine is named after the first Soviet space satellite. The launch of Sputnik-1 in 1957 reinvigorated space research around the world, creating a so called “Sputnik moment” for the global community.

The vaccine’s efficacy is 97.6%, based on the analysis of data on the incidence of coronavirus among Russians vaccinated with both vaccine components between December 5, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for the vaccine were completed on August 1, 2020. The Phase 3 clinical trial results were published in Russia in the Lancet magazine on February 2, 2021. Phase 3 clinical trials of Sputnik V have also been successful in the UAE, India, Venezuela and Belarus.

The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven well-studied human adenovirus vector platform; these vectors cause the common cold and have plagued humanity for millennia.

Sputnik V was the first coronavirus vaccine to use a heterogeneous boosting approach based on 2 different vectors for 2 vaccine shots. This approach generates a more sustainable immunity compared to vaccines that use the same delivery mechanism for both shots.

The safety, efficacy and lack of long-term adverse effects of adenovirus vaccines have been proven in more than 250 clinical trials over two decades.

Sputnik V does not cause severe allergies.

A storage temperature of +2…+8 °C allows the vaccine to be stored in a regular refrigerator without the need to invest in additional cold chain infrastructure.

Sputnik V is effective against new strains of coronavirus, according to a study by the Gamaleya Research Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology published in the leading international magazine Vaccines.

The vaccine produces protective neutralising antibody titres against new strains, including Alpha B.1.1.7 (first identified in the UK), Beta B.1.351 (first identified in South Africa), Gamma P.1 (first identified in Brazil), Delta B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3 (first identified in India) and variants B.1.1.141 and B.1.1.317 with mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) identified in Moscow.

About Sputnik Light

Sputnik Light is the first component (recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (rAd26)) of Sputnik V – the world’s first registered vaccine against coronavirus.

The Sputnik Light vaccine, like Sputnik V, is based on a proven well-studied human adenovirus vector platform; these vectors cause the common cold and have peacefully coexisted with humanity for millenia.

Safety of Sputnik Light, as the first component of Sputnik V, was confirmed by real-world data from UAE, Bahrain, Argentina, Russia, Mexico, Serbia, San Marino, Philippines, Libya, Paraguay, Hungary, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

Sputnik Light, the first component of Sputnik V, is a safe and approved stand-alone one-shot vaccine. 80% proven efficacy against infection, higher than that of most two-shot vaccines.

Sputnik Light is also a leading booster shot for people previously infected with COVID-19 (and) for revaccinations after Sputnik V or other vaccines.

Sputnik Light as a stand-alone vaccine is highly effective against Delta and other mutations: 70% efficacy against infection by Delta, over 75% efficacy in the age group below 60. Efficacy against hospitalization and severe disease is even higher. Sputnik Light efficacy as a booster will be close to that of two shots of Sputnik V against Delta.

Sputnik Light has a long-lasting protection, which even increases over 4-6 months following the vaccination. Many other vaccines showed dramatic decrease in efficacy against Delta variant to below 50% within the same time period.

Were you about to absorb all the details in the above excerpts? Whatever you think of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light, I recommend you read their respective full articles on the official Sputnik Vaccine website.

And now we can proceed on the recent news about the two Russian vaccines and the Philippines. To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines plans to procure more of the one-shot Sputnik Light anti-coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine after receiving its first batch, donated by Russia, on Friday.

A total of 5,000 doses of the Sputnik Light vaccine arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, along with the 2,805,000 doses (1,402,500 doses each of Components I and II) of Sputnik V shots, which were procured by the Philippine government.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said negotiations are underway for the procurement of at least 10 million more doses of Sputnik Light.

“We are confident that these talks would yield positive results as we diversify our vaccine portfolio and scale up our vaccine throughput and achieve herd immunity by the first quarter of 2022,” Galvez said in an interview. “We are very happy that we will be renegotiating again for Sputnik Light.

He said the government would allocate the first batch of the one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which has the lowest vaccination rate among the 17 regions, with about 320,000 fully inoculated out of the 2.9 million target population.

“Ibigay muna natin sa mga hindi pa nakakakuha ng (Let’s give these to those who have yet to get) protection. I believe it is more useful na gamitin itong (to use these) as first dose so we can at least protect na agad ‘yung (right away the) first 5,000,” Galvez said.

He said the latest delivery of 2.8 million doses of Sputnik V completes the government’s procurement contract with the Russian Direct Investment Fund for the supply of 10 million doses.

“The completion of this contract is a testament to the robust relationship between our countries. Moreover, it demonstrates Russia’s strong commitment to helping provide greater vaccine accessibility to all nations, including the Philippines,” Galvez said. “We will be able to protect five million more Filipinos from the fatal effect of the Covid-19 virus and continue to bring down our active caseload and save more lives.”

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Sputnik Light vaccine may be more effective as a booster shot.

“Mukhang maganda for booster iyong Sputnik Light. Mas mahaba daw ang (The Sputnik Light may be better used for booster shots. It gives longer) protection of about eight months beyond,” Duque said in another interview. “We’re going to have our vaccine expert panel review the documents.

Galvez echoed Duque’s statements, saying the Sputnik Light could boost the primary doses that are adenoviral vector-based vaccines, such as AstraZeneca and the similar single-dose Janssen.

“There are many scholars in Jordan saying the Sputnik Light is good. And also, this fits with our heterologous or mix and match of boosters,” he said.

The Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization of the following vaccine brands to include an additional shot – Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, and Sputnik Light.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? If you have been vaccinated with Sputnik V, how long has it been since your last shot? If you are fully vaccinated already, regardless of vaccine brands, would you be willing to accept a Sputnik vaccine as your booster shot?

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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