PH virology institute gets funding for 2021 -- DOST | Inquirer News
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PH virology institute gets funding for 2021 — DOST

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:17 PM August 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed virology institute that will be the country’s premier research facility encompassing all areas in the study of viruses and viral diseases gets its funding for next year.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) revealed this on Wednesday during an online media forum.

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“We have been working on establishing a virology science and tech institute in the Philippines. We already got the funding for research and development starting next year,” DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevarra said.

“This will not only deal with human viruses but with viruses against animals and plants,” she added.

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This revelation came with the admission that the Philippines is currently incapable of developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The human resource for the institute, Guevarra said, has been in the works since 2007 and is ready to be tapped once the institute is established.

Earlier, it was reported that President Rodrigo Duterte is reviewing the recommendation to establish a virology institute.

This is among the long terms plans of the government to strengthen local vaccine development, especially in the face of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to its inability to develop its own vaccine against COVID-19, the Philippines is relying on other countries that have developed vaccines for the disease.

The Department of Health earlier revealed that the Philippines is currently in talks with 16 vaccine manufacturers worldwide, including Russia and China.

Among the vaccines, the Philippines will test the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia. The country will conduct Phase 3 of clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine from October 2020 to March 2021.

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The human testing phase will be funded by the Russian government and will be done simultaneously in Manila and Moscow.

READ: Phase 3 clinical trials of Russian COVID-19 vaccine in PH set from Oct. 2020 to March 2021 

The country also joined COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair, and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

The Philippines is likewise part of the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trial for different COVID-19 treatment.

/MUF

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