As show of confidence, Russia willing to be liable for potential risks of Sputnik V in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 5) — Russia is positive that the Gamaleya Research Institute's Sputnik V is highly safe and effective against COVID-19.

To prove this, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said unlike other vaccine firms that will not assume liability if something goes wrong, it is willing to "share in some of the risks" in the Sputnik V distribution in the Philippines to prove it is the best option in the market.

"One of the big advantages [is] unlike some of other vaccines that...basically want the Philippine government to sign the papers that say if something goes wrong, [they] are not responsible, Russia is not doing this," RDIF CEO Kirril Dmitriev told CNN Philippines' The Final Word on Thursday. "Russia is so confident in its vaccine that it basically is willing to share in some of the risks."

The RDIF funded the production of Sputnik V and is in charge of selling it globally. Dmitriev said they are still currently negotiating with the Philippine government on vaccine procurement and are hoping to finalize an agreement within the month or by March.

Preliminary findings published on Tuesday showed Sputnik V is 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% effective against severe and moderate disease.

READ: Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, interim trial results suggest

This brings the Russian vaccine nearly on par with the American-made Pfizer and Moderna, which showed a success rate of and 95% and 94.5%, respectively, based on interim data.

Dmitriev, however, noted that Sputnik V costs cheaper than the two with a dose sold at only $10. The vaccine is administered twice per person.

"The results are stellar," he said. "And again, we are modest but also honest. Sputnik V is clearly the best vaccine in the world, because not only does it have efficacy of more than 90%, but it can also be stored at +2- to + 8-degree (Celsius) temperature and costs half or one-third of what American vaccines cost."

He added that Sputnik V also works against new COVID-19 variants, although studies have yet to be published on this.

"Our scientists tested it against these mutations and other mutations and so far, there is the same efficacy of Sputnik… And this is because of the technology which has been pioneered by Sputnik, which uses two different shots for two different times," he said.

To date, 19 countries have already registered Sputnik V, while 12 have already started vaccination, according to Dmitriev.

Gamaleya currently has a pending application for Emergency Use Authorization before the Philippine Food and Drug Administration. But due to high demand from other nations, Dmitriev said even if Sputnik V receives the green light from the FDA now, they will not be able to supply large quantities to the country until May.