Minister urges patience as ‘limited’ Sputnik 2nd doses need to be distributed countrywide

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony is urging the public to exercise more patience, noting that the 5,000 doses of the Sputnik V-second component which were received yesterday, need to be distributed countrywide.

“Because we’re getting limited quantities, on average, we’re getting like 5,000 a week, once we get it, we allocate it by different regions because there are people in all the regions who would have received their Sputnik first dose…so we’re trying to make sure those who got their first dose in Region One and Nine, they too would be able to get their second dose,” Dr Anthony explained.

“So, we have an allocation mechanism that we distribute out to the different regions…,” he added.

The last time the country received a batch of 5,000 doses of the Sputnik V second dose vaccine, the quantity allocated to Region Four – the country’s most populated region – had been depleted in less than 24-hours.

The Sputnik V vaccine, unlike AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, has a second dose that is different from the first dose.

At first, the country was administering the second shot within four weeks of the first dose, but this period has now been extended to 12 weeks.

The Health Minister had said that this extension is in keeping with information provided by the Gamaleya Research Centre, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine.

“I hope people can bear with us, we understand the anxiety,” Dr Anthony expressed, noting that once the vaccines are available, the Ministry will ensure they are immediately distributed to the public.

In the meantime, he is encouraging persons who are due for their second dose AstraZeneca and Sinopharm to return for their second jabs.