A medical expert said the Philippines can “probably” have a COVID-19 vaccine by the first or second quarter of 2021 if clinical trials in the country begin by September or October this year.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said the investigational vaccines like the one being offered by Russia still need to undergo local clinical trials.
Solante said conducting clinical trials in the local setting will allow experts to get “real data on the safety and efficacy” of the vaccines among Filipino patients or those who will be involved in the trial.”
“You are looking at different populations.There may be similarities in safety, but we could not know how we can really evaluate the efficacy that was seen in those individuals abroad can also be replicated among our local patients,” Solante, a member of the vaccine experts panel of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, told ANC.
Solante said the Philippines is still currently in a “negation process” with five to six companies on possible local clinical trials of their vaccines.
“We're looking at different clinical sites in the Philippines that will somehow be making this clinical trial once these vaccines are available,” he said.
President Duterte had earlier expressed hope that the country will have a “COVID-free December” after Russia reportedly offered to supply the Philippines with its COVID-19 developed vaccines.