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12 Apr, 2021 12:33

Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine passed efficacy & safety tests 'with flying colors,’ Philippines foreign minister to RT

Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine passed efficacy & safety tests 'with flying colors,’ Philippines foreign minister to RT

Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin has told RT that authorities relied on “hard science” when they approved the use of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, in the Southeast Asian country.

Locsin reflected on his country's Covid-19 restrictions which were recently described as “one of world's longest and strictest lockdowns” by Time magazine.

“How do we stop a pandemic? We stop moving and exposing ourselves,” he told RT, in comments broadcast on Monday, adding that the lockdown was “the most logical” step to combat the outbreak.

“By some estimates, we may have saved 3.5 million people by doing that. But you can't stay locked down forever,” Locsin said.

The archipelago nation ultimately began easing restrictions, which led to a rise of coronavirus cases and deaths. “The problem with success is [that] you relax. People just got tired of social distancing, masking and everything,” the official said.

Also on rt.com Nearly half of Czech population ready to take Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine even without EU watchdog approval, poll reveals

As Manila looked for vaccine providers, the government felt confident about the Moscow-based Gamaleya Research Institute, which developed Sputnik V.

When I heard about Sputnik, I knew that was the one to get.

Locsin had a Zoom call with the team from Gamaleya, but it was a positive review of the Russian vaccine published in one of the oldest and most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals, The Lancet, that convinced him Sputnik V had “passed with flying colors.” At the end of the day, officials relied on “hard science” and “always had the impression that Russia would be at the forefront” when it comes to vaccines, Locsin noted.

The Philippines drug regulator approved Sputnik V for emergency use last month. The country’s top vaccination official Carlito Galvez Jr. told reporters that 500,000 doses will be delivered in April. Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which funded the development of Sputnik V, said that Moscow was seeking to partner with local firms in order to manufacture the vaccine on Philippines soil. 

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