The Philippine Food and Drug Authority (FDA) today granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Russia’s COVID vaccine Sputnik V, enabling the Duterte government to secure millions of dosages of the jab.
“It is decided that all conditions for an EUA are present and that the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the known and potential risks,” FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said in a virtual press briefing.
“The study was done in people 18 years and above. About 1/4 of them had comorbidities and a big group, around 10%, was senior citizens. It showed that the efficacy of the drug was quite uniform among all age groups,” Domingo added.
Sputnik V is the fourth vaccine to be granted an EUA by the Philippine regulator, following Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac’s CoronaVac. As of today, only CoronaVac and AstraZeneca are legally available in the country, with thousands of donated dosages arriving early this month from the COVAX facility and China.
The Duterte government plans to buy about 20 million dosages of Sputnik V, which the medical journal Lancet said has a 91.6% efficacy and “appears safe and effective.” The vaccine’s manufacturer said that Sputnik V has been approved for use in at least 50 countries, including Mexico, Iraq, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
Prior to Lancet’s review, many were skeptical of Sputnik V, with some experts saying that some corners may have been cut in its development. Their views didn’t deter President Rodrigo Duterte from supporting Sputnik V, and even bragged in 2020 that he was willing to join its clinical trials. The macho posturing proved useless because at 75 years old, he was too old to get injected with the vaccine.
This article, It’s Coming! PH approves Russia-made COVID vax Sputnik V for emergency use, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.