DOST: WHO Considering 3 COVID-19 Vaccines In Solidarity Trials

The WHO was considering three COVID-19 vaccines for its solidarity trials, according to DOST.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Friday said that the World Health Organization (WHO) was considering three COVID-19 vaccines for its solidarity trials, but the date on when the said activity would commence remained uncertain.

Photo source: Inquirer

In an online press briefing, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara said that they were told that the World Health Organization was considering three choices of COVID-19 vaccines and they’ll know soon when the trials would begin.

However, Guevara didn’t disclose which COVID-19 vaccines were being considered by the World Health Oorganization.

According to Guevara, the occurrence of new COVID-19 variants and other factors in the COVID-19 vaccines had contributed to the delay in the conduct of WHO Solidarity Trials.

Guevara also said that the country’s team for the solidarity trials was ready and had been preparing for the activity since September 2020.

We have been in touch with the WHO solidarity vaccine trials global lead and we were informed that the vaccine selection from their end still has to be finalized. Malaki ang naging epekto kasi nitong paglabas ng variants at nakita din nila ‘yung mahirap kapag double dose ang ating mga vaccines, so they are trying to find better alternatives to the vaccines that are available,” Guevara said.

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As for preparations for the clinical trials in the Philippines, Guevara said that one of the challenges was the increased requirement in the number of staff for the initiative because of the increased number of participants and trial sites.

Currently, available COVID-19 vaccines were only being administered through emergency use authorization (EUA), which allowed the limited use of COVID-19 vaccines that were deemed safe and effective based on review of interim data of Phase 3 human clinical trials.

Guevara reiterated that the emergency use authorization was different from a product registration, which was being issued for new and approved COVID-19 vaccines that were proven safe and effective based on the review of complete data from Phase 3 trials.

Outside the WHO solidarity trials, there were also COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers that have applied to conduct their independent human clinical trials in the Philippines.

Guevara said that Janssen Pharmaceuticals had already started its phase 3 human clinical trials in the Philippines, while trial site preparations were ongoing for Chinese firms Sinovac Biotech and Clover Biopharmaceuticals.

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