The Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines has approved Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, as the country struggles with a surge in infections.

The two-dose Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by Russia-based Gamaleya Institute.

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This vaccine is the fourth to get Emergency Use Authorization in the Philippines, Reuters report.

FDA chief Rolando Enrique Domingo said: “The known and potential benefits of the Gamaleya Sputnik V vaccine… outweigh the known and potential risks.”

Interim data indicated that the Russian vaccine had shown an efficacy of 91.6% in people aged 18 years and above.

Domingo said US vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have made enquiries about the requirements for EUA but have not yet filed applications.

In South East Asia, the Philippines has the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths. It is witnessing a renewed surge in infections, with almost 20,000 new cases reported in the last four days.

The Filipino Government intends to make 140.5 million vaccines available by the end of this year to vaccinate 70 million adults. It began vaccinating on 1 March and has secured delivery of 1.125 million doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines.

The pandemic has badly hit its economy, which contracted by 9.5% last year.

Last month a health panel in Vietnam recommended approval of the Russian vaccine.