One vaccinee, three officials: Questions raised as an elderly receives Sputnik V jab while officials watch on

May 6, 2021 - 12:36 PM
Sputnik vaccination
Vicenta Barcellano, 69, receives her Sputnik V vaccine in Muntinlupa as local officials, including Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Rep. Ruffy Biazon and MMDA Chair Benhur Abalos look on. (Photo from Philippine News Agency via Benjamin Pulta)

Some social media users questioned the presence of officials in a picture showing a Filipino receiving Russia’s coronavirus vaccine in Muntinlupa on Wednesday.

State-run Philippine News Agency shared a photo of a senior citizen being inoculated with Sputnik V, a vaccine developed by Gamaleya Institute, while four other people witnessed the incident.

Apart from the one administering the shot and another health worker, the caption noted that Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Rep. Ruffy Biazon (Muntinlupa City) and Metro Manila Development Authority Chairperson Benhur Abalos were present in the picture.


The post made its way to local Reddit’s trending list where users discussed the picture.

“The f*ck is this? It’s vaccine shot y’all not the Writ of Habeas Corpus!” the Reddit user who shared the post wrote. 

The Writ of Habeas Corpus is a recourse in law that addresses illegal confinement and restraints to liberty.

“Bakit ang daming nakabantay habang nagpapa-vaccine? Tatakbo ba ‘yung vaccine?” another online user wondered in the comments.

“Kailangan kasama sa photo-ops… kahit magsiksikan na, makita lang pagmumukha,” a different Filipino claimed.

“Bakit ako, one of the first ma-vaccinate sa bansa (no including the PSG) kami lang ng nurse nasa room,” another Reddit user claimed.

PSG refers to the Presidential Security Group who got inoculated with China’s Sinopharm before the official mass vaccination drive in the country began.

Sputnik V is the third coronavirus vaccine that arrived in the Philippines on May 1 after previous delays.

It is taken in two doses and has a reported 91.6% efficacy rate.

Results of its late-stage trial noted that it is completely protective against severe forms of COVID-19.

The Russian-made vaccine was rejected by Brazil but according to Nina Gloriani, the head of the science department’s vaccine development expert panel in the Philippines, its efficacy was evaluated “very thoroughly.”

“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,” she said before.

“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,” Gloriani added.