DOH to meet with WHO Saturday to discuss implementation of vaccine trials

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 11 2020 04:03 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2020 05:28 PM

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Video courtesy of the Department of Health

MANILA — The Department of Health and representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet on Saturday to discuss the rollout of the latter’s multi-country vaccine trials.

“For WHO we have set a meeting for tomorrow for them to discuss with us the protocol for the clinical trial. Also they will be discussing the implementation arrangements already,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

Vergeire said they hope the Solidarity Trial for vaccines could start “after several weeks.”

The health official said it took a while for WHO to finalize the list of vaccines to be included in the trial.

“So ngayon they are ready already. The existing na ibinigay ng listahan ngayon at may updating lang. Sasabihin sa amin bukas 'yung bagong list,” she said.

(So now they are ready. The existing list will have to be updated. They’ll give us the new list tomorrow.)

Vergeire said that while they have already identified sites for the trials based on the COVID-19 attack rate, they will have to check if changes need to be made since COVID-19 case trends are also changing.

While the WHO seeks to do simultaneous trials on various vaccines, pharmaceutical companies are also applying for their own clinical trials in the Philippines. So far only Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals have passed the pre-evaluation of the vaccine expert panel and the ethics review board.