MANILA - Two local vaccine manufacturers have expressed willingness to produce inoculation against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an official from the Department of Health said Thursday.
Government earlier said the Philippines would participate in 5 collaboration clinical trials with China and Taiwan. The country is also a participant in the World Health Organization's Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 treatment.
Local manufacturers are urged to participate in the collaboration vaccine trials, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
"May paguusap po sa ganyan, ito po ay nasa level ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) natin at meron naman hong 2 nang local manufacturers nagsabi that they can and are willing na magkaroon ng ganitong plant sa ating country pero pinag-uusapan pa po yan," she told ABS-CBN Teleradyo when asked if the country is planning to produce its own COVID-19 vaccine.
(The discussion is at the level of the IATF and 2 local manufacturers have said that they can and are willing to build a plant in our country but it is still being discussed.)
Hospitals identified for the initial vaccine collaboration trials are the Philippine General Hospital, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Manila Doctors Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, and Vicente Sotto Medical Center.
Vergeire said the selection of these hospitals for the trial have yet to be finalized, adding those in the communities may be included/
"Titingnan in the coming days yung set of criteria. May risks talaga naman kapag tayo ay sumusubok ng bagong gamot o bakuna kaya kailangan very scientific ang mapipiling isasali dito sa trial para makita natin who are qualified and who are not qualified," she said.
(We'll see in the coming days the set of criteria. There are risks in trying out new medicine or vaccine so we have to be very specific in selecting participants for the trial, so we can see who are qualified and who are not.)
The Philippines as of Wednesday reported 50,359 COVID-19 cases, with 12,588 recoveries and 1,314 deaths.