MANILA — Cavite in the next 2 weeks will open a coronavirus testing laboratory and participate in a trial of vaccine candidates, the province’s governor said Friday.
The laboratory, which will be “finished in maybe 10 to 14 days”,
can run daily 3,000 to 4,000 nasal swab tests, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remula told ANC. This facility will be located at the De La Salle University – Dasmariñas, he earlier said on Facebook.
The Cavite government will also help the La Salle Health Sciences Institute get residents to join a trial for potential coronavirus vaccines from the US and the United Kingdom, he said.
Participants will include factory workers, senior citizens, PUV drivers, and policemen who have a high risk of catching the virus. There will be no cash incentive in the trial that will run on a “purely voluntary basis,” he said.
“We estimated maybe up to 10,000 people will be involved in the trial and it should start in the next 2 weeks,” said the governor.
Initial data look “very promising” and show a “50 percent reduction in the transmission” of the virus, he said.
“We have been assured by the developers that clinically, it’s not a dangerous vaccine,” Remulla said. “Efficacy is more of what we’re targeting—whether or not people who get the placebo versus people who get the vaccine, if there’s a difference in the infectious rate.”
Results have to be “collated and checked” in a central processing facility abroad, he said.
Remulla also rejected joining a trial for the world’s first supposed coronavirus vaccine by Russia because data on the earlier stages of its development are “not available to the public.”
“In the absence of that you cannot make an informed decision and expose the people here,” he said.
“It’s not been put under scrutiny, it’s not been put under peer review. The methodology has not been open to the public. Those things are important before you engage in something as intense as a vaccine trial.”