COVID-19 vaccine may be available by end of 2020 — FDA
MANILA, Philippines — A vaccine against the coronavirus disease may be available by yearend, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, noting that there are vaccines being developed by other countries that are currently undergoing phase 3 trials.
“Well, nandyan ang posibilidad. Hindi naman siguro October, kundi by end of the year,” FDA director-general Eric Domingo said in an interview with GMA News’ Unang Balita when asked if he thinks a vaccine against COVID-19 may be available by September or October as claimed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Kapag may mga nakita tayo, depende sa resulta, at makita talaga na safe and effective after the phase 3, then it’s really possible na before the end of the year meron nang bakuna na magpaparehistro, hindi lang sa Pilipinas kundi sa ibang mga bansa,” he added.
(If we see that there are vaccines that are safe and effective after phase 3, then it’s really possible that by the end of the year, there will be a vaccine that will apply for registration, not just in the Philippines but also in other countries.)
In a separate interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Domingo explained that under phase 1 trials, only around 20 to 100 healthy participants not exposed to the disease are given the vaccines. Under phase 2, “a few hundred to a few thousands” of patients who are possibly exposed to the disease take part in the trials.
The number of participants would then increase to 3,000 to 30,000 under phase 3, the last phase in the clinical development of a vaccine before FDA approval. Domingo said this phase will take two to three months to monitor side effects of the vaccine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier declared Russia as the first country to approve a vaccine even though the final stage of testing has yet to be completed.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said Russia is willing to provide the Philippines the COVID-19 vaccines for free.
Despite this, Domingo said the country should be careful in rolling out a vaccine against COVID-19, citing the Dengvaxia vaccine mess.
“Of course this is very different naman. Syempre (Of course), Dengvaxia is seasonal, may lamok (with the danger of mosquitoes). Ito, this is a pandemic that has stopped the economy, that has stopped the whole country,” said Domingo.
“The urgency is a little different. Everybody’s scared, everybody can get it. Kaya talagang (So) we have to be very careful. We have to make sure that before we roll out a vaccine, it’s safe and effective because we have to get that confidence back in the vaccination program,” he 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.