MANILA — The World Health Organization’s multi-country clinical trial for COVID-19 vaccines will likely start early next year, according to the Philippines’ vaccine expert panel.
Dr. Nina Gloriani, University of the Philippines College of Public Health professor and head of the Department of Science and Technology’s vaccine technical panel, said it might start by early or mid-January 2021.
Previously, it was slated to start in December but the WHO has yet to release a list of vaccines to be included in the trial.
“We are meeting again tonight so we hope the final list will come out soon. I think it would be around 2 vaccines at least that will be initially tested,” Gloriani said during a Department of Health briefing.
Gloriani said the WHO has shortlisted 5 vaccines but was yet to make the announcement official.
Gloriani said WHO was taking its time because it is "very careful in choosing each one.”
Two of the most promising vaccines also had “certain issues” that needed to be addressed.
The WHO Solidarity Trial is separate from the clinical trials planned by independent vaccine developers.
The DOH has previously said it preferred having local clinical trials to test the effectivity of vaccines on Filipinos.