The 15,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines that were supposed to arrive Wednesday would not be delivered until next month due to “logistical concerns,” Malacañang said.

“We confirm that logistical challenges resulted in the delay of the arrival of the 15,000 trial order of Sputnik V. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez has taken steps to address these challenges and aims to receive the initial order of the Russian [vaccines] in the month of May instead,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a message to reporters.

Roque cited “challenges resulting from there being no direct flights from Russia and that the vaccine requires -20 temp” as the cause of the delay of the arrival of the vaccines.

This was the second time the delivery of the initial Sputnik V doses was delayed.

The vaccines were initially supposed to arrive on April 25. “Logistical reasons” were also cited when government officials said they would arrive on April 28 instead.

Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Russia, requires storage in facilities with temperatures of -18°C.

About 500,000 doses of the Russian vaccines were expected to arrive in May. Barring further setbacks, the number is expected to reach 20 million by yearend.

The Food and Drug Administration has found Sputnik V vaccines to be 91-percent effective. John Ezekiel J. Hirro