February 1, 2023

The third phase of the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial on possible Covid-19 vaccines in the Philippines will start in December, a health official said.

“The WHO has given a commitment that the announcement of the (clinical trial) sites and other details will be given within this week,” Department of Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Meanwhile, she said the Russian vaccine manufacturer Gamaleya is still in talks with a Philippine-based contract research organization.

The organization will represent Gamaleya for possible local manufacturing of anti-Covid-19 vaccine.

While the Chinese vaccine Sinovac has been cleared for Covid-19 clinical trials by the Vaccine Expert Panel of the Department of Science and Technology, Vergeire said its manufacturer would still have to get approval from the Ethics Board before applying for Food and Drug Administration clinical trial clearance in the country.

Earlier, the government has allotted P2.5 billion for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines under the proposed 2021 national budget. – PNA release