After receiving Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev says the first shipment of Sputnik V doses will be in the first half of April, noting that the Philippines is

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) Russia has committed the first delivery of Sputnik V doses in the first half of April, noting that the Philippines is “a great priority” amid the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We will start the first shipment in the first half of April and we are already registered in 52 nations around the world. There is definitely great demand for Sputnik V but [the] Philippines is a great priority for us,” Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, told CNN Philippines’ News Night.
Dmitriev said the volume to be shipped will still be determined and will later be announced by the Philippine government. He gave assurances they will be able to produce enough doses to supply the needs of the country’s vaccination program, adding that they recently had a partnership that will enable them to produce another 200 million doses this year.
On March 18, Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government is planning to negotiate with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute to purchase two million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine by April.
The company that funded the production of Sputnik V said they are also eyeing to manufacture the vaccine in the Philippines. They are currently in the final negotiation process, and if an agreement is established, production can start within the next 4 to 5 months, Dmitriev noted.
Sputnik V is currently being manufactured in countries like India, Brazil, China, and South Korea.
On its effect against COVID-19 variants, Dmitriev said the vaccine is efficient against the variant first detected in the UK, while its efficacy against the variant from South Africa will be released in the next weeks. He noted that it shows “very high efficacy” so far.
There is currently a partnership with AstaZeneca to make its shots more efficient, an approach seen to be vital in fighting future variants, Dmitriev added.
Sputnik V is the fourth vaccine to be granted Emergency Use Authorization by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.
FDA Director General Eric Domingo earlier said the Russia-made vaccine can only be administered to clinically healthy individuals aged 18 and above. However, Dmitriev said they already started testing Sputnik V on children, and results will be out in the following months.