COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials set in 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will be part of a January 2021 clinical trial to be conducted by the makers of a vaccine against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Wednesday.
If the manufacturers advance to Phase 3 of their clinical trial, only then can the country take hold of the candidate vaccine for COVID-19, she added.
“We are still waiting for a vaccine that would proceed to this stage as required by the World Health Organization (WHO) before we can start with the solidarity trial for vaccines,” Vergeire said in her online briefing, adding that the vaccine was mentioned earlier by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The President on Tuesday night shared a report by American biotech firm Moderna about its vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 which, it said, would be ready by January next year.
In its website, Moderna said its Phase 1 trial showed that its mRNA-1273 vaccine was “generally safe and well-tolerated.”
So far, according to the WHO, there are only six candidate vaccines for COVID-19 and it may take from one year to a year and a half for any of them to become available to the public.
Duterte also said he was exploring all options, including loans, to fund the purchase of the vaccine once it becomes available.
“I’m looking for money to … we’re talking about money, that I would have money to buy the vaccine just in case somebody else would beat the Moderna to the vaccine,’’ he said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said a vaccination plan would be in place once a vaccine becomes available. But global demand for it was expected to be high, so not everyone could get it immediately.
The priority would be the vulnerable, the elderly and people with preexisting medical conditions, Roque added.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.