MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday assured that the Philippines is ready to receive and store Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Insitute.
The Philippine envoy to Russia earlier said that an initial batch of 20,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine is expected to arrive in the Philippines within the next few days.
An additional shipment of nearly 500,000 doses will be delivered before the end of April or early May.
Sputnik V vaccine needs to be stored at a specified temperature.
“Meron tayong handa na storage and distribution system when it comes to other vaccines that will require this kind of storage temperature,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing.
“Napaghandaan na natin yan mula’t mula pa at ating inihahanda ngayon ang ating gagawin,” she added.
Unlike Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines that only require regular refrigeration temperature, Sputnik V has liquid and powder forms that have specified storage temperature requirements.
The liquid form requires storage at -18 degrees Celsius while the powdered form at the regular 2 to 8 degrees Celsius temperature.
“Itong Gamaleya vaccine, may konting technical requirement na kailangan talagang carefully maiayos natin kasi meron siyang powder form at liquid form,” Vergeire said.
“Yung liquid form may handling na specified, yung powder form may handling na specified. So ito pong lahat ay napaghandaan na,” she added.
Vergeire also said that the government’s logistics teams are currently conducting simulations to avoid any issues in receiving Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine doses.
“Handa ang ating gobyerno. Handa ang ating sistema para mareceive natin ang mga ganitong bakuna with this kind of temperature storage,” she reiterated.