Delivery of Sputnik V second dose faces delay; FDA studying longer interval between shots

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 23) — Filipinos who are scheduled to receive their second dose of Sputnik V vaccine need to wait longer as the delivery of 50,000 doses faces delay, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said on Wednesday.

Galvez said the delay stems from Russian vaccine manufacturer Gamaleya's plan to improve the vaccine's efficacy against new coronavirus variants.

The second batch of Sputnik V is for the Filipinos who received their first dose earlier this month. Sputnik V's emergency use authorization states the interval between the first and second doses should be 21 days. The delay means the second dose for Filipinos who got vaccinated earlier this month will be pushed back to a still unknown date.

Galvez assured a longer interval between the shots will not minimize the protection it offers.

"The same level of protection will be guaranteed if the second shot is taken later than scheduled...Likewise, Sputnik V is a viral vector-type of vaccine, the same technology used by other vaccine brands that require longer interval periods for the two shots," he said in a statement.

Galvez added the country's Food and Drug Administration is studying the application lodged by Gamaleya Institute, through the Russian Direct Investment Fund, to lengthen the interval period between the shots from 21 days to 90 days.