PH ready to take part in WHO solidarity vaccine trial

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ROWENA GUEVARA FB PAGE

The Philippines is ready and just waiting for the World Health
Organization’s (WHO) go signal for the conduct of solidarity vaccine
trial, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
said Tuesday.

“The hospital sites, (vaccine) trial teams, and the supplies needed
were already prepared. We are just waiting for the formal announcement
of the WHO for the global and local launching of this study,” said
DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara in a public briefing.

Asked why the solidarity vaccine trial takes long to start, Guevara
said this is a global study, and the Philippines is not the only
country to participate.

“As such, the WHO ensures that every participating country is prepared
for the launching of the solidarity vaccine trial,” she said.

The WHO conducts a thorough negotiation and review of the vaccines
that will be included in the study, Guevara added.

She also said the WHO had also to consider the new Covid-19 variants
as well as update the clinical trial protocols and standard operating
procedures.

Among the objectives of the solidarity vaccine trial, she said, is to
determine the effectiveness of the vaccines against the variants of
concern in the country. The study targets to include participants 16
years old and above.

Guevara said aside from the WHO solidarity vaccine trial, the country
has been receiving applications for independent clinical trials.

There are applications that would like to include people aged 3 to 16,
as well as people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), she added.

Results of clinical trials are important to be considered in the
National Covid-19 Vaccination Program, to determine ways forward, she
said.

“It is important to consider the genetic differences of various
ethnicity, to see the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines. We
could see and compare data from other countries. This would help in
vaccine development, as well as on deciding which among the vaccines
are best against the new variants,” she said.

The DOST and the Department of Health have been coordinating with each
other regarding the allotment of vaccine doses for clinical trials.

Local chief executives, on the other hand, are preparing the vaccine
trial sites, according to Guevara.

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