MANILA, Philippines — Not all local government units will be able to receive the incoming Sputnik V vaccine from Russia due to its rigid storage process and handling protocols, the FDA announced on Thursday.
The Director of Food and Drug Administration (FDA), General Eric Domingo said the vaccine must be stored in specialized freezers at extremely low temperatures.
“That really is an issue. That means this Sputnik vaccine is probably going to go to the big city centers or where they have hospitals and they have storage facilities that will be able to hold the minus 18 degrees centigrade vaccines,” – General Eric Domingo, Director of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
“It’s not going to be as widely distributed as Sinovac and AstraZeneca. They will have to be more choosy where to set it,” General Domingo added.
Once the vaccine arrives in the country, authorities would need to conduct another simulation procedure in order to ensure its effectivity.
“I think it’s because they’re trying to get used to the stringent co-chain management,” he said. “Unlike the vaccines that have come before that can be kept in regular pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators, this one needs special care because of the minus 18 degree-requirement,” he emphasized.
While the World Health Organization and European Medicines Agency have yet to start their next round of analysis, Domingo stressed the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to the public.
“If you look at our timeline, it took us the longest probably to check the Russian vaccine because we really required and asked for all the documents regarding safety and efficacy, and of course, the quality of the product,” he said.
“But we were satisfied in the end after so many exchanges of emails and communication. They were able to submit all of the health [documents] required.”
“It is published in a very well-known peer-reviewed journal, all of their clinical trial data. That was enough for our experts to say that it is a good vaccine to use,” Domingo added.
This vaccine is a viral vector vaccine which means it uses adenoviruses to carry the genetic information needed to generate immunity against Covid-19 but it is also designed to strip those vectors of the ability to replicate.
The FDA granted emergency use authorization to the Russian vaccine last March.
Reporting by: Ghelo Carreon
Source: ABS-CBN News