DOH: Clinical trials for WHO-led COVID-19 vaccine effort to start in December

Monday, October 26th, 2020. Filed under: News Philippine News

MANILA, Oct 26 (Mabuhay) — Phase 3 clinical trials for the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial in the Philippines will start in December, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.

“Iyong WHO, nag-announce na po na mag-uumpisa po ang clinical trial by December 2020,” Vergeire said in an online forum.

“Nagbigay po ng commitment ang WHO na ang announcement ng sites [for clinical trials in the Philippines] and other details will be given within this week,” she added.

Vergeire then said that Russian vaccine manufacturer Gamaleya, for its part, is still in talks with a Philippine-based contract research organization, which will represent Gamaleya in the Philippines for possible local manufacturing of vaccine against COVID-19.

Earlier, the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) already cleared Chinese vaccine Sinovac for COVID-19 clinical trials.

Sinovac would still have to get approval from the Ethics Board before it gets to apply for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for a clinical trial in the Philippines

The VEP reviews the Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of the candidate vaccine, while the Ethics Board evaluates the selection for participants for clinical trials, among other safeguards that the vaccine manufacturer provided for the participants.

The Duterte administration has initially earmarked P2.5 billion for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines under the proposed 2021 national budget, an amount which is at least P10 billion short of the required funding as estimated by the Department of Health.

As of Sunday, October 25, the Philippines has 370,028 COVID-19 cases, of which 328,036 have recovered while 6,977 had died.

The number of active COVID-19 cases is at 35,015.(MNS)

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