WHO Solidarity Trial in PH to help find ‘most effective’ COVID-19 vaccines for Filipinos – DOST

Published July 13, 2021, 2:13 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

An official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Tuesday, July 13, expressed optimism on the positive outcome of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) vaccines solidarity trial in the country once this has been completed.


During the Laging Handa public briefing, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara confirmed that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Philippine government have formally reached an agreement on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines solidarity trial in the country.

“Nagpirmahan na, pormal na ang pagsasagawa nitong WHO Solidarity Trial on vaccine (It has been signed, the conduct of WHO Solidarity Trial has been formalized already),” Guevara said.

The letter of agreement, Guevara said, was signed by Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III as the representative pf Philippine government and WHO’s Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan.

Guevara explained that the WHO Solidarity Vaccines Trial (SVT) will help in discovering the “most effective COVID-19 vaccines” that are suitable for the needs of the Filipino people in terms of the right number of doses, provision of utmost protection, local distribution and manufacture in the country.

“Nagbigay na ang WHO ng final clinical trial protocol, standard operating procedures, at apat na investigational brochures na bakuna na aaralin sa trial na ito (The WHO already have the final clinical trial protocol, standard operating procedures, and four investigational brochures of vaccines that will be studied),” Guevara said.

Guevara added that the Solidarity Vaccine Team also submitted to the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) the requirements for evaluation. She added there is also a need for the evaluation of the Single Joint Research Ethics Board for the ethics review and also for the regulatory review.

However, Guevara said that the DOST cannot divulge the brands of vaccines to be used in the WHO Solidarity Trial yet. “Kailangan muna natin makuha ang approval ng FDA [Food and Drug Administration] bago ma-anunsiyo kung ano ang apat na bakuna (We need to get the approval of FDA before we announce which vaccine brands will be included in the study),” she added.

According to the WHO, the “Solidarity” is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Launched with other partners, the “Solidarity Trial” is considered as one of the “largest international randomized trials for COVID-19 treatments enrolling almost 12, 000 patients in 500 hospital sites in over 30 countries.”