Around 300,000 Filipinos who took the Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine are still waiting for their second dose, fearing that their first shot would soon lose its efficacy, a House official said on Wednesday.
“I have more than 12,000 of these vaccine takers who received their first jab in June and who were supposed to get the second shot in July. It is now September and there is still no supply,” Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said.
The representative of Cagayan de Oro City’s second district said hisconstituents “are afraid that the first dose will not be effective anymore because of the long delay in their second dose and their vaccination will not protect them from COVID-19.”
“I suppose this sense of fear, anxiety and uncertainty is shared by the more than 270,000 other Filipinos who had no choice but to take the Russian vaccine because that was the one delivered to vaccination centers like those in Cagayan de Oro by the Department of Health,” he stressed.
Rodriguez has written Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll and vaccine procurement czar Carlito Galvez pleading for the immediate delivery of Sputnik V to his city and other areas that received their first shipment.
He reminded them that the government has urged Filipinos not to be choosy on their vaccination and that they should get the vaccine that is available.
If there is no Russian vaccine supply that is forthcoming, concerned officials should decide what to do in the case of those who received their first shot of Sputnik V, he said.
As this developed, the Department of Health was expected to come up with its position on the issue of COVID-19 booster vaccine in the Philippines within this week.
The All Expert Group has a meeting today to discuss its possible recommendation particularly for health workers who are highly vulnerable and has high exposure to COVID. I think the Department of Health will come up with a position within this week.),” said Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo.
Earlier, the DOH said that the AEG has yet to come up with guidelines regarding the distribution of COVID-19 boosters.
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Rontgene Solante earlier said booster shots should already be given to health workers, most especially those who received Sinovac in March.
This is the data that were trying to complete and the AEG will discuss the need for a booster shot for health workers,” he said. With Willie Casas