Cebu exec raises alarm over reported COVID-19 vaxx trials

Published October 15, 2021, 4:59 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY — Authorities here expressed concern over the conduct of COVID-19 clinical trials of a Chinese vaccine brand without proper coordination.

In a previlege speech, City Councilor Dave Tumulak said Westvac Biopharma Co. Ltd., and West China Hospital of Sichuan University were reportedly paying up as much as P5,000 for those who will participate in the clinical trials of the vaccine.

According to reports, the trials are targeting about 700 to 800 individuals in Cebu City.

Tumulak said some residents have reached out to him to express their concern over the issue.

The councilor clarified that he is not against the clinical trial but proper coordination with the city government and the City Health Department must be done.

“This is the first time we heard that there is a clinical trial held here in the city by Westvac of Sichuan University in China and this is still on phase one clinical trial,” Tumulak said.

Tumulak said he already coordinated with the Food and Drugs Administration and the Department of Science and Technology to ask for more details about the clinical trials.

Tumulak said that based on the reports, a participant would get P2,500 upon screening and first dose. Another P2,500 will be given after another dose of the vaccine.

“We are after the safety of our residents. Why in Cebu? And why are they targeting the depressed areas?” said Tumulak.

Participants of the clinical trials are reportedly residents of barangays Tisa, Cogon, Basak-Pardo and Kamputhaw.

Department of Health Central Visayas Regional Director Jaime Bernadas said he received information about the clinical trials but was not aware that it has already started.