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The Sputnik V vaccine from Russia has been approved for emergency use in the Philippines, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Eric Domingo announced on Friday.

Domingo said the Russian vaccines were recommended for use on individuals aged 18 years and above.

“After a rigorous and thorough review, the FDA is granting EUA (emergency use authorization) to the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine,” Domingo said.

“It is decided that all conditions for an EUA are present and that the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the known and potential risks,” he added.

The vaccine has been found to have a 91.6-percent efficacy rate.

Sputnik V became the fourth vaccine to be approved for emergency use in the Philippines, after Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

Like the other vaccines, Sputnik V is administered in two doses.

In a Palace briefing, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippine government would start negotiations with Russia for the procurement of “more or less” three million Sputnik V vaccine doses.

“Magkakaroon po kami ng negotiation this coming Tuesday at ang initial request po namin is kung puwedeng makapag-deliver sila ng, more or less, three million doses this coming April/May. And then mayroon kaming ongoing negotiation din sa kanila na kung puwedeng pahintulutan nila na makabili iyong LGU,” he said.

The country has so far received 1.125 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca. John Ezekiel J. Hirro