PH panel meets with Russian vaccine manufacturer to discuss clinical trials

Published August 12, 2020, 2:38 PM

by Analou de Vera

The country’s vaccine expert panel will meet on Wednesday, August 12, with Russia’s vaccine manufacturer, to discuss the developments surrounding their COVID-19 vaccine and how the Philippines would be able to participate in the clinical trials.

This handout picture taken on August 6, 2020 and provided by the Russian Direct Investment Fund shows the vaccine against the coronavirus disease, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. (Photo by Handout / Russian Direct Investment Fund / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is the lead agency for the conduct of clinical trials for potential COVID-19 vaccines.

“Ngayong araw na ito, meron scheduled meeting na ang DOST with the manufacturer from Russia. Yung Gamaleya [Today, DOST has a scheduled meeting with the manufacturer from Russia. The Gamaleya],” said Vergeire in a media briefing.

“So itong bakuna na ito, itong Gamaleya—ito ay nasa Phase III clinical trials. Ang pag-uusapan ngayon with DOST [So this vaccine, this Gamaleya — it is in Phase III clinical trials. Today’s discussion with DOST is]—how we can possibly have the clinical trial here also in the Philippines,” she added.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country became the first nation in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing. The Russian COVID-19 vaccine was called “Sputnik V,”  in reference to the world’s first artificial satellite by the Soviet Union.

The candidate vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in Moscow with assistance from Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Vergeire assured that the Russian vaccine will undergo a strict study and regulatory process here in the Philippines.

“We can assure the public na atin itong padadaanin sa mga procedures natin here dito sa Pilipinas, even though dumaan na iyan sa mga regulatory procedures sa Russia [We can assure the public that we will go through our procedures here in the Philippines, even though that has gone through the regulatory procedures in Russia],” she said.

“As I’ve said we have the vaccine expert panel, we also have the Food and Drug Administration to do that because we have experts on that—pag-aaralan natin itong dossier nila [we will study their dossiers],” she added.