MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has confirmed the signing of a letter of agreement for the conduct of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) solidarity trials for COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines.
“Nagpirmahan na [ng letter of agreement]. Pormal na po ang ating pagsasagawa nito,” said DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara in an interview in Laging Handa Press Briefing Tuesday (July 13).
“Sinasabi po dito na makakadiskubre tayo ng pinaka-epektibong COVID-19 vaccines na naaayon sa pangangailangan ng Filipino population,” she added.
The official said the WHO has already given its final clinical trial protocol, standard operating procedures, and four investigational brochures of the vaccines that will be put under a study in the duration of the trial.
She added that the DOST Solidarity Vaccine Trial team has submitted its requirement for review of the vaccine expert panel, the single-joint ethics review board, and the regulatory review of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For the vaccine mix-and-match, Guevarra said they will be using all COVID vaccines available in the Philippines.
The official said they already listed 3,000 participants for the entire mix-and-match project which is proposed to be conducted in eight sites including Manila, Pasig City, Antipolo, Marikina City, Makati, Pasay City, Quezon City, Muntinlupa, Cebu City, and Davao City.
“Para masiguro ang consistency at uniformity sa trial, ang ilalahok lamang ay ang mga hindi pa nabibigyan ng COVID-19 na bakuna,” Guevarra said.
“Kapag ang mga bagong bakuna ay pumasa na sa Phase 3 na may satisfactory result, maaari na po silang isama sa pagpipilian ng Pilipinas at ibang bansa sa pag-deploy para sa kani-kanilang vaccination programs,” she added.
At present, Guevarra said there are four FDA-approved clinical trials in the Philippines, while seven new vaccine clinical trial applications are now in different stages of review by the vaccine panel of experts, single-joint ethics review board, and the FDA.
Guevara stressed that clinical trials are being conducted to assess and investigate the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of the vaccines.