The Philippines has approved Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the Food and Drug Administration said on Friday as the country fights a renewed surge in virus infections.
The jab, developed by Russia's Gamaleya Institute, is the fourth to receive emergency use authorization in the Philippines after Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
"The known and potential benefits of the Gamaleya Sputnik V vaccine, when used to prevent COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risks of said vaccine as of date," FDA director general Eric Domingo said in a press conference.
The jabs, which Russia has touted as the first in the world, were 91.6% effective against COVID-19, trials showed.
Domingo said Sputnik V should only be used to prevent COVID-19 in individuals aged 18 years and older. It is given in two doses and should only be administered by vaccination providers.
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Granting an EUA to a vaccine would expedite its availability to the people who need it the most. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine government is rushing to make vaccines available to the most vulnerable to the virus: medical frontliners, and the elderly.
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