By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Negros Occidental provincial administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, said yesterday morning that the province is not yet prepared to receive the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines made by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute.
According to Diaz, the Sputnik V vaccines are expensive compared to the China-made CoronaVac and British-made AstraZeneca vaccines.
Diaz also pointed out the province does not have the capability to store Sputnik V vaccines which has a -18 degree Celsius temperature storage requirement.
Bacolod City Emergency Operations Center deputy for medical Dr. Chris Sorongon, however, earlier stated that the storage requirements for Sputnik V vaccines are the same as the CoronaVac and AstraZeneca vaccines which are two to eight degrees Celsius only.
Despite not planning to get Sputnik V, Diaz said they have passed letters to the local government units (LGUs) in the province encouraging them to also buy the Russian-made vaccines.
Diaz said the LGUs were told that if they are interested, they should sign a letter of intent in order to join the allocation in case the tripartite agreement pushes through.
Earlier, Sorongon said Bacolod City is capable of handling Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines.
Among the requirements stated by DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergerie for the Sputnik V vaccines are that the storage should be a dark place and in temperatures not over -18 degrees Celsius.
However, the Bacolod City government has yet to receive information if they will receive an allocation of Sputnik V vaccines from the national government.
Around 15,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines are expected to arrive in the country today. However, it is unclear if another 480,000 doses will be received tomorrow, April 29./DGB, WDJ