PH ready to work with Russia on clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine, says Borje

The Philippines is prepared to work with Russia on the clinical trials for the proposed vaccine for the coronavirus disease and its local production, Malacañang said Tuesday.


The Palace recognized that proposed Philippines-Russia cooperation on vaccine development must comply with testing and health standards to ensure safety and efficacy.

"The Philippines appreciates Russia's offer of cooperation to jointly combat the COVID-19 pandemic," a statement from the Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert Borje read.

"The Philippines stands ready to work with Russia on clinical trials, vaccine supply and production, and other areas deemed practicable by relevant Philippine and Russian agencies to address this global health emergency," it added.

The Palace noted that like other bilateral and multilateral arrangements, all cooperation initiatives would be "consistent" with testing and health protocols.

It also recognized that international cooperation remained a key factor to effectively combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"Consistent with the President’s independent foreign policy, we continue to work with partners across the world to ensure access to safe vaccine," the Palace said.

In a televised address Monday night, President Duterte has thanked Russia's offer to supply COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines. Duterte even volunteered to take the first vaccine shot as an expression of gratitude to Russia.

With the coronavirus vaccine within reach, the President remained hopeful that the country will have a "COVID-free" December and enjoy the Christmas season.