Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine from Russia has been approved for use in the Philippines, its vaccine procurement chief said on Monday. The Philippines is the first country in Asia to have approved the single-dose vaccine.
Carlito Galvez, a retired general who handles the government’s vaccine procurement, told a news conference that the approval by the Philippines’ food and drug agency will allow the country to fulfill its order for 10 million doses. Vaccine manufacturers are expected to increase deliveries in September and October, Galvez said.
Russia’s Gamaleya Institute has developed Sputnik Light, which has already been approved by Mongolia and Kazakhstan. In addition to Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, Sinovac and Sinopharm, Sputnik Light is the ninth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the Philippines.
Authorities in the Philippines have said the vaccine rollout is essential to the recovery of the Southeast Asian nation’s economy. Before the pandemic, the Philippines had one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia but contracted by a record 9.6% in 2020. So far, the Philippines has vaccinated 17.26 million people, leaving much of its 110 million population susceptible to the highly contagious Delta variant.