The pilot rollout of the initial 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russia started in three of the five cities in the National Capital Region that were identified for the initial rollout, namely, the cities of Manila, Makati, and Parañaque.
In Parañaque City where the vaccination using Sputnik V was held at the Ayala by the Bay Mall along Macapagal Boulevard, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr joined National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) and Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr in witnessing the initial vaccinations using the Sputnik V vaccine.
“Ang pinakamabuting balita ay mayroon na naman po tayong additional brand ng vaccine na nagagamit at ito ay kabahagi ng trial order kasi ito po ay ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na we had to deal with a vaccine na negative 18 handling requirement,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace official underscored that the rollout is not yet the official rollout of Sputnik V and stressed that it is only a trial rollout to see how the country can handle the logistical, storage, and temperature requirements of the vaccine that requires negative 18 degrees temperature.
Sec. Roque also affirmed the results of a previous SWS survey on vaccination judging by the reception of Parañaque residents toward the Sputnik V vaccine. “Sa mainit na reception ng mga taga Parañaque ay tingin ko ay tama rin naman po yung naunang survey ng SWS na kinakailangan lamang na [may] magsimula magpabakuna at karamihan ng ating mga mamamayan ay magpapabakuna,” Roque said.
Secretary Galvez was also pleased with the turnout of vaccinees and said that the reception and the very high uptake of the vaccine from Gamaleya is unexpected. The Vaccine Czar also underscored that all vaccines in the Philippines’ vaccine portfolio are safe and effective, and that the country can expect additional deliveries of Sputnik V vaccines this second quarter of the year.
Secretary Galvez said that for vaccines like Sputnik V requiring very specialized handling, the pilot rollout can be considered a success if there is no vaccine wastage, if the uptake is high, no adverse effect, and if there will be favorable possible clinical effect.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez of Parañaque City also affirmed the confidence that his constituents have shown toward Sputnik V based on the number of people that showed up for vaccination. Olivarez said that their target is to vaccinate a minimum of 1,500 individuals with the 3,000 vaccine doses that were allotted to them.
The Parañaque City Mayor also assured that they have the facility and equipment to handle the specific temperature requirement of the vaccine. Olivarez added that aside from the Ayala mall, they have also partnered with the SM malls in the city for their vaccination program.
Meanwhile, Sec. Roque said that the national government is increasing its target number of vaccinees for this month. “Dalawang milyon naman po ang target nating mabukanahan ngayong buwan ng Mayo mula sa one million monthly average mula nang nag-umpisa ang ating vaccination program,” said Sec. Roque.
He added that this was assured by Sec. Galvez during President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Talk-to-the-People Address last night, when the Vaccine Czar reported that the country is expecting some four million vaccine doses to arrive this month of May.
Galvez added that he is expecting 10.3 million doses from four to five new ordered vaccines in June, and that by July, it is expected to increase to 15 to 20 million doses.
Also in attendance are Paranaque 1st District Rep. Eric Olivarez, Paranaque Vice Mayor Jose Enrico Golez, Dr. Olga Virtusio of the Paranaque City Health Office, President Christopher Maglanoc of Ayala Malls, and Associate Director Mariana Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corporation. ###