MANILA, Philippines Brazil's rejection of Russia-made COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V should not be an issue, a vaccine expert said Monday, as the Philippines is set to begin administering the jabs this week.
Nina Gloriani, head of the science department's vaccine development expert panel, said Sputnik V was evaluated "very thoroughly" for safety, immunogenicity and efficacy.
"It is clear that we asked for a lot of data and they (vaccine developer) sent it to us... So in fairness (to them), it was the most comprehensive set of documents that we received from these vaccine companies," Gloriani said at a press briefing.
"We think there is no issue because in other countries, at least we have three, in real world conditions, there was no problem in terms of safety or even efficacy," he added.
Gloriani was asked to react to the decision of Brazilian health regulator Anvisa to reject the importation of Sputnik V vaccine because of alleged "inherent risks" and the supposed lack of data proving that it is safe and effective against COVID-19.
She said the vaccine experts panel is closely monitoring the explanation of both Brazil and Gamaleya, which developed the Sputnik V jabs. She said it was possible that some of the documents submitted by Sputnik V developers to Brazilian authorities may have been misunderstood.
The Philippine government is purchasing 20 million doses of Sputnik V as part of its objective to administer COVID-19 shots to 70 million people this year. A total of 15,000 doses of the Russia-made jabs were delivered last week.