The Philippine Government is expected to sign a supply deal with Russia this week to acquire 20 million doses of the Sputnik V jab, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

The vaccine is expected to be used for the country’s senior population. Back in March, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Dr. Eric Domingo announced that they’ve given the shot an emergency use authorization (EUA) after confirming its safety.

In line with the FDA’s recommendation, Galvez said the Sputnik V shot will be used in vaccinating senior citizens in the absence of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

“Pwede po siyang gamitin po sa elderly, so from 18 and above. So yun po ang gagamitin namin at yun po ang maganda para at least in the absence of AstraZeneca, yun po ang pwede namin pong gamitin,” he explained.

Galvez said the vaccines – developed by the Gamaleya Institute – will likely arrive within four months. However, he noted that 500,000 vials of the shot will arrive earlier as part of a ‘mini rollout.’

“Ang ating ine-expect ay they will supply 20 million doses within the next four months. Some 500,000 doses of the Russian jab will be delivered to the Philippines this month as part of a “mini rollout,” Galvez told ANC’s Headstart.

Besides its ongoing vaccine program for medical frontliners, the national government is now organizing its plans for the next batch of inoculation – the A4 priority group

The bracket will include 13 new sectors proposed by the Department of Health (DOH), which has since been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). See the complete list below.

Photo from the Philippine News Agency

In its latest tally, the DOH recorded a daily increase of 11,378 in COVID-19 infections. It brings the total number of active infections in the country to 157,451. 

You can watch the full clip of the interview below.

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Image credit: Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP via Getty Images