The recruitment of participants for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Solidarity Vaccines Trial (SVT) has been piloted in three hospitals in Metro Manila, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.
DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, who heads the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), explained that WHO-coordinated global study “Solidarity Trial Vaccine” is implemented locally through the project “Solidarity Vaccine Trial in the Philippines: Randomized Trial of Candidate Vaccines for COVID-19”.
Serving as lead investigators of the trial are Dr. Jodor A. Lim and Dr. Marissa M. Alejandria from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila-Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
“While awaiting the WHO global launching, recruitment has been piloted in the three NCR (National Capital Region) sites namely, Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines and Makati Medical Center,” Guevara said.
She said the possibility of expanding the SVT’s trial sites to other regions such as Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) was also being discussed.
“A meeting between the Project team, DOST, DOH (Department of Health) and Local Government Units of Regions 3 and 4-A was also held last October 5, 2021 to discuss the possibility of expanding the STV’s trial sites to the said regions.”
The DOST official said they were still awaiting the go signal from WHO for the official start of the trial. Nonetheless, the trials team are ready to conduct the trial, she said.
Around 15,000 eligible participants are targeted to participate in the SVT.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan had signed a letter of agreement for the conduct of SVT in the country.
The Philippines’ participation in the WHO SVT was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) through its Resolution No. 47.
The WHO’s SVT has a project duration of 18 months and is funded by the Philippine government through DOST and DOH.