MANILA – An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC) on Wednesday welcomed the government’s positive response to Russia’s offer to supply the country with the vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) it has developed.
“Yes, that’s a welcome news and development. However, we have also to be wary because vaccines should have longer time in its probation as to the efficiency and effectivity. I mean it’s testing whether or not it can address the virus,” said Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio, vice chairman of the Commission.
Florencio added that the less fortunate should be prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine once it is available.
“With regards to the beneficiaries yes, I go of giving it free to the poor and indigents,” the Catholic prelate added.
In a public address on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte accepted Moscow’s offer to provide vaccines for Filipinos.
The vaccine, named Sputnik-V, a reference to the surprise 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite by the then Soviet Union, was developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the vaccine trials have yielded positive results, with all volunteers having built up immunity to Covid-19.
However, Malacañang said the vaccine would first need the approval of the Food and Drug Administration before it can be administered to the public. (PNA)