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WHO eyes solidarity trial by end of October

Gabbie Parlade

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is eyeing to start the solidarity trial for vaccines by the end of October, the Department of Health (DoH) on Saturday disclosed.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that this will come after the list of participating vaccines from all over the world and trial sites have been finalized within the month.

“The WHO gave us a commitment before, based on our discussion, that the list of vaccines included and the sites where it will be implemented will be released by the third week of October,” she said.

“So, we’re just waiting for them to give the list as they are eyeing to have the tentative start of the trial by the end of October,” she added.

In the list of potential vaccines released by the DoH, about 34 vaccines on varying phases are being considered.

On the other hand, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) earlier said that a total of 17 are interested to conduct a bilateral partnership with the Philippines on vaccine development.

It includes countries such as the United States’ Moderna, the United Kingdom’s Astra-Zeneca, Russia’s Sputnik V, China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm, Japan,’s Osaka University’s Takara DNA-plasmid, India’s Bharat Biotech and the University of Queensland’s Seqirus in Australia among others.

In the meantime, Vergeire said that the DoH is fixing its agreement with the Department of the Interior and Local Government to cascade protocols for its implementation.

She said this to ensure that all local government units will be informed should their location be chosen as a trial site.

It will depend on the number of COVID-19 cases as well as the total population in each respective area.

Meanwhile, the DoH likewise said that it is currently fixing the budget to be used for the trial where about P8.9 million coming from the DoST is set to be allocated.

“We are also fixing the budget and other preparatory activities so that by the time the WHO informs us, we will be ready to start it immediately,” she said.

The Food and Drug Administration said that all manufacturers will have to undergo the regulatory processes in each local vaccine panel to ensure the safety of all the volunteers who will be joining.

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