MANILA — The Department of Health said Tuesday it was waiting for Russia to give more information on its coronavirus vaccine candidate, before its clinical trials in the Philippines could start.
The Philippine vaccine experts panel has finished studying the initial documents that Moscow sent about the first 2 of 3 phases of the trial for its vaccine Sputnik V, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
"We are just waiting for them to provide us with additional information so that the vaccine experts panel of the Philippines can complete their evaluation," she told ANC.
"Once the evaluation is done, we can very well go on to this part where we discuss about the safe clinical trial that we intend to do here in the Philippines," she added.
After passing the review of the panel led by the science and technology department, a vaccine candidate needs to get clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its clinical trial, said Vergeire.
Sputnik V's local trial may start “earlier” than 2021, she said.
The Philippines might also start its participation in the World Health Organization's clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines on the last week of October, Vergeire said.
The DOH is also in “close coordination” with the proponents of 2 vaccines from the UK and US who are eyeing a clinical trial in Cavite, she said.
The approval of a COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines may come in April next year under "the best case scenario", the FDA earlier said.
The health department has tallied 307,288 coronavirus infections, of which 49,242 were active as of Monday.