February 1, 2023

The Department of Science and Technology is considering the local and finish type of manufacturing, should the Philippines be given the opportunity to reproduce vaccines made by other countries.
Usec. Rowena Cristina Guevara, chair of the Interagency Task Force’s sub-technical working group (TWG) on vaccine development, and DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Peña said the country does not have the capability to develop and manufacture Covid-19 vaccine as it does not have the facility.
“These are the reasons why the DOST has proposed the establishment of the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP), and why the sub-TWG on vaccine development is looking for potential vaccine collaborations to be pursued that will be favorable to the Philippines and allow local manufacturing, possibly through licensing from a foreign vaccine developer or company,” they said.
In May, dela Peña shared on his Facebook page that he submitted a proposal for possible legislation for the establishment of a virology institute in the country, which he said would be a premier research institute in virology and diseases in humans, animals, and plants.
The establishment of the VIP would also be for the development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics, he added.
Guevara said in the fill and finish type, vaccine manufacturing starts with a bioreactor to produce the antigen.
“At the end of the manufacturing process is the filling-up of vials, injection, ampules or container for the vaccine, then it is labeled and packaged for transport. This end of the manufacturing process is called ‘fill and finish’,” she said.
Guevara confirmed that even if Russia was the first to register a Covid-19 vaccine, the DOST would still welcome clinical trials on vaccines that are being manufactured by other countries, as long as these would get the Food and Drug Administration’s approval. – PNA release