The newly-arrived 100,000 vaccines doses for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from Russia will be allocated to the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8 and some cities in the country, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said.
“Because of sensitivity ng ating (of the) cold chain requirement, it will be given to NCR Plus 8. We will also be giving other cities, (for) example Baguio and areas that have cold chain solutions,” he said shortly after the arrival of the Sputnik V vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City. The vaccines from Russia were procured by the government.
The NCR Plus 8, which consists of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Batangas, and Pampanga, has been prioritized for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination program.
Galvez also assured local government officials, especially those in areas seeing a spike in Covid-19 infections, that they would be given priority, as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
“We will prioritize. Our mayors and governors or those currently experiencing surges should not worry. The directive of our beloved president and Senator Bong Go is to prioritize them. We will help you, we will not leave you behind,” he said.
The vaccines arrived in the country via Qatar Airways Flight QR928 at 11 p.m. They would be stored at the PharmaServ Warehouse in Marikina City.
Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov said he is expecting more vaccines to arrive in the country this month but could not disclose the exact number.
“We would like to increase the volume. I cannot disclose how many doses will arrive until the end of this month but I hope it will be a huge amount. We would like to help the Filipino people,” Pavlov said.
He noted that the vaccines arrived a day before the Russian Federation celebrates its Independence Day on Saturday, the same day the Philippines celebrates its 123rd Independence Day.
As of June 11, the Philippines has received more than 12 million vaccines sourced from four countries – China (Sinovac), Russia (Sputnik V), United Kingdom (AstraZeneca), and the US (Pfizer).
With the recent procurement, the country has received 180,000 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 from Russia.