WHO’s vaccine trials in PH could possibly include VisMin barangays with COVID-19 case surges – DOST official

Published June 11, 2021, 11:47 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The World Health Organization (WHO) solidarity vaccine trials could possibly include barangays in Visayas and Mindanao with high cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Friday night, June 11.

(Photo by Orlando SIERRA / AFP / FILE PHOTO)

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, who chairs the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), said the areas in Visayas and Mindanao which have logged sharp rise in coronavirus infections could be considered as sites of the WHO’s Solidarity Vaccine Trial (SVT).

“[It’s] possible,” she told the Manila Bulletin when asked if the barangays in Visayas and Mindanao with increasing COVID-19 cases could be included in the list of WHO SVT’s trial sites.

She said the target participants for the SVT is 15,000.

“We have to re-do the sites since barangays with high COVID-19 cases have changed in the last five months,” Guevara said.

The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Friday, June 11, that as of June 8, Visayas has so far recorded 9,725 active COVID-19 cases, while Mindanao has 13,435 active cases.

DOH Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama said public hospitals in Visayas and Mindanao were directed to increase their COVID-19 bed capacities by 50 percent to accommodate more patients amid the spike in virus infections.

Related story: https://mb.com.ph/2021/06/11/doh-asks-vismin-hospitals-to-increase-covid-19-bed-capacity-amid-cases-surge/?amp

During the virtual town hall meeting organized by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on the “COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment” on March 17, DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya Montoya said 21 areas, mostly in Manila and Quezon City have been identified as sites for the SVT.

Based on the documents presented by Montoya, seven areas in Manila City and six areas in Quezon City have been identified as WHO SVT sites. Some areas in Pasay City, San Juan City, Paranaque City and Taguig City have also been selected as vaccine trial sites.

Related stories: https://mb.com.ph/2021/03/17/dost-pchrd-21-areas-identified-as-sites-for-who-solidarity-vaccine-trials/