A public health expert believes that a suitable Food and Drug Administration approved vaccine against the novel corona virus would surely be out by the second quarter of 2021.
In an interview over ABS-CBN’s SRO program, Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development says that based on current data, the availability of a vaccine by December, seems highly unfeasible. This belies President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier pronouncement of a possible vaccine by December of this year.
Duterte even predicted that the first country to produce a vaccine would definitely come from China. Several countries are competing against each other to produce the first proven and safe vaccine for the virus that has killed thousands and infected at least 27 million globally.
Russia had announced that its Sputnik vaccine can now be used, but Japan’s Avigan is also being subjected to extreme field tests to prove its efficacy.
“Ang nakikita po naming mangyari, kung sa Pilipinas ang pag-uusapan, ang pinakamaaga na magkakaroon tayo ng bakuna na puwede ng gamitin, na naaprubahan na ng FDA (Food and Drug Administration), ay second quarter of next year,” Montoya added.
Montoya says if such a vaccine can then become available for public use, the government can get at least 20% of its total demand through COVAX. COVAX is reportedly a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations or CEPI, Gave, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization or WHO.
Such an anti COVID-19 vaccine is expected to fetch a price around 500 or 1,000 pesos per shot if approved. A person needs two doses of the vaccine that must be administered between 20 to 28 days apart.
Health authorities are gunning for 60% immunization of the population to stem the spread of the disease that has claimed 3,916 persons dead, 185, 178 recoveries and 52,893 active cases. DOH data says there are 3,281 new infections totaling to 241,987 people infected by the novel corona virus.