Clinical trials for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in the Philippines will start in December 2020, the Department of Health said Monday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the clinical trials will begin by December 2020 and committed to identify sites by this week, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during an online forum.
“The WHO has announced that the trials will start by December 2020. They have committed that they would have this announcement of sites and other details within this week. We will wait for their announcement,” Vergeire said.
She also noted that interferon, which was declared by the WHO as ineffective, will be removed from the trial arm for medicines while acalabrutinib, a cancer drug, was made official.
“Official na ang acalabrutinib, dumating na doses last Monday. Yung isa pa na susubukan yung monoclonal antibodies; isasama na sa clinical trials ng WHO (Acalabrutinib is now official, doses have already arrived last Monday. Monoclonal antibodies will also be included in the clinical trials of WHO),” Vergeire said.
“As to remdesivir, pinatuloy pa rin ng WHO (WHO will still pursue it). They would want more information, more data and they would want more accurate findings for remdesivir to support initial results. Tutuloy pa rin natin (We will still push through it),” he health official added.
Meanwhile, Chinese vaccine Sinovac would still have to get approval from the Ethics Board before it can move forward to the clearance process from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).