AstraZeneca open to conduct COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in PH
MANILA, Philippines — Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca has expressed its willingness to conduct clinical trials of its prospective coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine here in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.
“Naka-usap natin nila [vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.] ang AstraZeneca, and they have that intention,” DOH spokesperson and undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters in an online briefing.
(We, along with, Secretary Carlito Galvez have talked with AstraZeneca, and they have that intention.)
“Pwedeng mangyari that they can do clinical trials (It’s possible that they can do clinical trials),” she added.
“So sa ganyan, magandang inidkasyon ‘yan kasi gusto ng Philippine government na talagang mai-try out muna sa ating mga Pilipino bago umpisahan ang mga pagbabakuna sa ating kababayan.”
(That way, it’s a good indication that the Philippine government wants to try out the vaccine to Filipinos first before the vaccinations could begin.)
Galvez previously said that the government was looking to procure three to 5 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca, but it is negotiating whether this can be increased to 10 million doses.
So far, the potential COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech is close to conducting clinical trials in the Philippines as it passed the pre-screening of the country’s vaccine experts panel. In October, Sinovac submitted to the Food and Drug Administration its application to conduct Phase 3 of clinical trials in the country.
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