COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial of Sinovac stalled due to overlapping sites with WHO trial

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 25 2021 08:44 PM

MANILA — None of the three COVID-19 vaccine developers that were given approval to run clinical trials in the Philippines have started, the Department of Health said Monday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Science and Technology is already coordinating with the contact research organizations (CROs) of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Sinovac from China. But none of them have been able to finalize their list of trial sites.

“Nakapagbigay ang Sinovac, but later on, kinailangan ibalik kasi yung ibang sites binigay ng Sinovac ay kapareho nung site ng WHO (World Health Organization) Solidarity trial,” Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

(Sinovac was able to give a list, but we had to return it because some of the sites identified by Sinovac are the same as those of the WHO Solidarity Trial.)

Vergeire explained that WHO’s choice of trial sites “should take precedence” over the other trials because the Inter-Agency Task Force is endorsing and prioritizing the Solidarity Trial.

Unlike the trials funded by the said companies, WHO will be running a multi-country trial involving several vaccine brands. This is meant to hasten the evaluation process of the vaccines.

The CROs are local counterparts of the mentioned international vaccine companies. They share the responsibility of recruiting participants and managing clinical trials.

Vergeire said the CROs are still studying which areas in the Philippines to include in their trial site list.

A clinical trial would ensure that the COVID-19 vaccines in development are safe and effective for Filipinos.

The Philippines expects to receive the initial batch of COVID-19 vaccines next month, as it aims to inoculate up to 70 million individuals to achieve herd immunity.

The country has logged 514,996 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Monday, including 29,282 active infections, 10,292 fatalities, and 475,422 recoveries.

RELATED VIDEO

Watch more News on iWantTFC