MANILA, Philippines -- Philip Ella Juico, the head of the Philippine Athletics Track And Field Association (PATAFA), on Tuesday welcomed the latest developments regarding a possible vaccine for COVID-19.
Pfizer announced on Monday that its drug has shown 90% effectiveness in combating the novel coronavirus. This came after tests involving more than 40,000 people provided results that were a "critical milestone" in the search for a vaccine.
Juico, speaking at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, said the news was welcome both in the sports community and society at large.
"We are very happy with this, although they still have to determine whether it's effective on mild or severe symptoms of COVID-19," he noted.
"For us in sports, that is a very positive development because under the JAO (joint administrative order), non-professional sports will only be allowed if there is a vaccine," he added.
While Juico understands that the vaccine is still under development, he is hopeful that it will be released by the end of the year and made available to the general public.
"They said it should be ready by the end of the year. Overall, it's a very positive development not just for Philippine sports, but to society in general," he said.
The good news comes at a time when the PATAFA is planning to hold its Athletics Championships on March 19-21 at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac next year. It was originally scheduled for next month, but had to be moved due to logistical considerations.
The event will coincide with the two-month training camp of the national pool, in a bubble in New Clark City. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse