DOST identifies 18 sites of clinical trials for 3 vaccines
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced on Friday that the clinical trials for three COVID-19 vaccines will be held in 18 facilities in Metro Manila, Laguna and Cavite provinces, as well as the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo in Western Visayas.
Rowena Guevara, Undersecretary for Research and Development of the DOST, said at an online press briefing that the late stage clinical trials would be conducted by Janssen Pharmaceutica, Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Sinovac Biotech.
Janssen Pharmaceutica, the drug subsidiary of American conglomerate Johnson & Johnson that developed vaccine candidate JNJ-78436735, will conduct their trials in Makati City, San Pablo and Cabuyao in Laguna, Iloilo City and Bacolod City.
Clover Biopharmaceuticals Australia, the Australian subsidiary of Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals of China, which developed the S-Trimer vaccine, or SCB-2019, will hold its trials in Quezon City, Makati City, Manila, Taguig City, Las Piñas City, Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila, as well as Calamba in Laguna and Dasmariñas in Cavite.
The Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, which developed the vaccine candidate CoronaVac, will hold its trials in Quezon City, Marikina City, Pasay City in Metro Manila and Alaminos in Laguna.
Guevarra said while there was still no definite date when the trials would start, “they intend to start the soonest.”
The Food and Drug Administration approved the Phase 3 clinical trial application of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 29, 2020, while Chinese firm Clover received its approval on Jan. 8. Sinovac’s application was approved earlier this week.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is planning to turn the agency’s 800-square-meter quarantine facility in Makati City into a national vaccination center to help the government in its vaccination program.
“The MMDA quarantine facility is open for any national government agency that needs a place to efficiently roll out the antiCOVID-19 vaccination program,” MMDA chair Benhur Abalos said in a statement on Friday.
The MMDA’s isolation facility was built on May as a temporary holding area for its own employees who had to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine prescribed by the Department of Health. The facility is air-conditioned, has shower rooms, comfort rooms and lavatories and Wi-Fi connection.
During his first day in office, Abalos said helping the government in its pandemic response would remain one of the priorities of the MMDA and that the agency would assist local chief executives in their vaccine logistics for or quick mobility across the National Capital Region. —WITH A REPORT FROM MARIEJO S. RAMOS
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