Participation in human trials for the Russia-developed COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday. An expert panel on immunization is currently identifying possible pilot sites.
“Ibibigay sa inyo lahat ng (You will be given all the) possible effects—both positive and negative—and then an inclusion in a trial is completely voluntary,” FDA Director General Dr. Eric Domingo told Teleradyo.
Participants from the chosen areas will be picked randomly. If selected, they will be asked if they want to participate or not. Those conducting the trial will move on to the next randomly selected person until the target sample size is reached.
Paying people to join trials is also prohibited.
“Very strict po ang ethics natin (Our ethics are strict) for clinical trial involving humans. ‘Di po talagang pwedeng binabayaran (It is not allowed to pay participants). ‘Pag ganito po maaring ma-exploit ang mga taong nangangailangan at bawal pong mag-exploit or mag-take advatanage (If you pay participants, those in need may be exploited or taken advantage of) wherein a person will be forced to join a clinical trial,” he said.
Russia is the first country in the world to announce they have a COVID-19 vaccine. However, their vaccine has not yet undergone Phase 3 of trials—the last step before it can be rolled out for mass production and distribution.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier thanked Russia for supplying the vaccine to the Philippines. Duterte also said he would take the vaccine first to ensure it is safe. The FDA assured the public on Thursday that it would be careful in the Phase 3 trials.