Acting mayor stops clinical trials by Chinese firm for vaccine against COVID-19 in Cebu City | Inquirer News
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Acting mayor stops clinical trials by Chinese firm for vaccine against COVID-19 in Cebu City

By: - Reporter / @nestleCDN
/ 02:19 PM October 18, 2021
FILE PHOTO: A syringe is filled with a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up community vaccination center at the Gateway World Christian Center in Valley Stream, New York, U.S., February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Brendan McDermid/File Photo

CEBU CITY––Acting City Mayor Michael Rama on Monday temporarily stopped the clinical trial for an anti-COVID-19 vaccine conducted by a Chinese firm in this city.

Rama said WestVac Biopharma R&D from Sichuan in China did not coordinate with the city government before conducting the trials.

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“We only wanted the firm to coordinate with the city like having a MOA (memorandum of agreement) or whatever it is. We need to have an agreement because the city might be held answerable if something bad happens to those who took part in the clinical trials,” he said.

Councilor David Tumulak said trial participants informed him that they were given P2,500 to P5,000 whenever they passed the screening.

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He expressed fears that the clinical trials would expose residents to danger.

In a statement sent Friday to reporters, WestVac Biopharma R&D said the participation in the clinical trial was voluntary.

“The study team conducts clinical research in a manner that recognizes the importance of protecting the safety and respecting research participants,” it said.

“All research participants have the right to withdraw from continued participation in the clinical trial at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which they are otherwise entitled,” it added.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, director of the Department of Health in Central Visayas, said he was told that the Chinese firm got permission from the central office in Manila.

However, WestVac Biopharma Co. Ltd. also did not coordinate with his office.

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TAGS: Acting City Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu City, Chinese firm, clinical trial, COVID-19, Regions, vaccine
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