DOST tags 5 hospitals as sites for trials of potential COVID-19 vaccines
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has identified five hospitals as sites for clinical trials of potential vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dr. Nina Gloriani, head of the vaccine development expert panel of DOST said on Wednesday.
In a press briefing conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), Gloriani, a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Public Health, where she was the dean from 2007 to 2013, said four of the hospitals are in Metro Manila and one is in Cebu.
The hospitals are:
- Philippine General Hospital
- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
- Manila Doctors Hospital
- San Lazaro Hospital
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
In May, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) approved the recommendation of the DOST to let the Philippines collaborate with five vaccine developers — three from China and two from Taiwan — for their clinical trials.
The collaborations that were approved by the IATF are with the following:
- Chinese Academy of Science — Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health
- Sinopharm: Wuhan Institute and Beijing Biological Institute
- Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
- Adimmune Corporation
- Academia Sinica
The tentative timeline for the clinical trials is from October 2020 until March 2021, but it may be extended up to September 2021, Gloriani said.
Once clinical trials are underway, they would need 1,000 to 5,000 people as volunteers, depending on the allocation of the World Health Organization, she said.
Aside from this, the priority group that will be recruited for the trials are people aged 18 to 59, particularly those who are considered having a high risk for COVID-19 infection, such as health care workers, she added.
The participation of the Philippines in the clinical trials would ensure that it would have access to the vaccines and ensure their quick registration with the Food and Drug Administration, according to Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.
To date, the country has 50,359 COVID-19 cases, with 12,588 recoveries and 1,314 deaths.
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