Delaying 2nd Sputnik V dose could increase efficacy: Roque

(File photo from Sputnik V website)

MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday allayed concerns over the delayed delivery of additional Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines, noting that delaying its second dose could actually increase efficacy.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the delivery of 50,000 doses of Sputnik V this month has been delayed.

Wala pong problema because in fact, nagkaroon na po ng communication ‘yung EUA [emergency use authorization] ng Sputnik V ay papa-amendahan po. Apparently, mas mataas po ang efficacy kung mas matagal yung period ng first dose sa second dose (There is no problem because in fact, there has been a communication seeking to amend the EUA of Sputnik V. Apparently, the efficacy will be higher if the period between the first and second doses is longer),” Roque said in a media interview in Parañaque City.

The current interval between the first and second doses for the Russian-made vaccine is 21 days, the shortest among all adenovirus-vector vaccines allowed for emergency use.

In a statement posted on Sputnik V’s website, Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology director Alexander Gintsburg said the interval between the first and second doses can be extended from 21 days to three months.

“I think it will be almost the same as AstraZeneca na 12 weeks so magpapa-amenda nga po sila na mas ideal na mas matagal ‘yung second dose so wala pong epekto ‘yung kaunting delay na na-incur (so they will seek an amendment that it will be ideal to wait longer for a second dose so there is no effect if a delay is incurred). It will even be more ideal for efficacy na ma-delay ‘yung second dose ng Sputnik V (to delay the second dose of the Sputnik V),” he added.

Galvez earlier announced that the delay in the arrival of Sputnik V vaccines was due to ongoing upgrades and developments.

The Sputnik V jabs were supposed to be used as a second dose of individuals who have been vaccinated early this month.

“We have already informed all local government units who have administered the first dose of Sputnik V to their constituents that the schedule for the second shot will likewise be pushed back and will be rescheduled,” he said.

The FDA has granted Spuntik V an emergency use authorization (EUA) last March 19.

To date, the FDA has granted EUA to eight Covid-19 vaccine brands — Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford–AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sputnik V, Janssen, Covaxin, Moderna, and Sinopharm.

The country has so far secured over 14 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, of which 180,000 are Sputnik V jabs. (PNA)

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