A team from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is being dispatched to Russia to inspect the facilities of the Gamaleya Institute which manufactures the anti-Covid19 Sputnik V vaccine.
FDA chief Eric Domingo said this is being done to fasttrack the approval of the emergency use authorization (EUA) of Sputnik “within the next two weeks.”
Previously, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said Manila is in talks with Russian officials for the acquisition of some 20 million doses of their vaccine that reportedly has an efficacy rating of 81 percent.
Sources said the arrival of the Sputnik V should add further impetus to the government’s ongoing immunization drive, which is moving at a glacial pace due to the resistance of healthcare workers who are demanding vaccines made by Pfizer (95%), Moderna (94%) or AstraZeneca (71%).
At the moment, government frontliners are being made to accept being inoculated with China’s Sinovac vaccine (tradename: CoronaVac) which has a rated efficacy of 51% due to the insistence of its Malacanang backers.