COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines vaccine expert panel members call Sputnik Light a good booster shot against COVID-19

I said it before and I will say it again – the Philippines should acquire a lot more supplies of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines to be used in nationwide vaccination for COVID-19 especially as the Omicron variant has been present locally (reportedly over a thousand cases nationwide) and already there were people who died because of it. There are already studies confirming that Sputnik vaccines are effective against the highly infectious Omicron variant (for references, click here, here and here). Recently a few experts on vaccination here in the Philippines expressed their views about the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine as reported by CNN Philippines. Here is hoping the national government will pay close attention to the details.

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

Gamaleya Institute’s single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine is a good booster shot candidate against coronavirus infection, according to members of the Philippines’ vaccine expert panel.

Pediatric infectious diseases specialist Dr. Maria Liza Gonzales shared the study on 84 individuals who received Sputnik Light. This measured the antibody, T-Cell responses, and the level of virus neutralizing activity against variants of concern — including the Alpha, Delta, and Omicron variants.

It showed Sputnik Light enhanced the immune response of previously infected individuals on the seventh day after vaccination. Those who never had COVID-19 infection, meanwhile, only developed antibody response after 21 days.

“Can it be useful as a booster? I think the studies would show that it would. It would actually enhance the immune response in those who were previously vaccinated and in fact…higher pa ang response in those who were previously infected. So, whether infected or not and given primary immunization, I think the Sputnik would be a good booster to be given, to be used,” Gonzales told a forum on Tuesday.

She noted that Sputnik Light has the same components as the first dose of Sputnik V.

Another vaccine expert panel member, Dr. Derrick Sumalapao, said the revaccination with Sputnik Light among inoculated individuals could elicit neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant.

“The good thing is there is presence of such neutralizing antibody to Omicron variant among the study participants revaccinated with Sputnik Light,” he said.

A study conducted by Italian Spallanzani Institute and Gamaleya Center also found that the level of antibodies fighting the Omicron variant among those vaccinated with Sputnik V did not decline as much as Pfizer. The study involved 51 people inoculated with Sputnik V and 17 with Pfizer.

It showed Sputnik V has more than twice the number of neutralizing antibodies to Omicron.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this newest development? Are you convinced that the national government as well as local government units (LGUs) should seriously consider acquiring more doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines to really immunize as many Filipinos as possible as part of the effort to lift the country up from this pandemic? Are you aware that the nation of Tunisia approved the use of Sputnik Light as their universal booster for COVID-19 vaccines?

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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