A COVID-19 vaccine could be available to the public by the second quarter of next year, according to one of the officials in charge of clinical trials. Several vaccine candidates are being considered to determine which will best fit the country.
Human trials are scheduled in the fourth quarter, said Science and Technology Usec Rowena Guevarra. "If we are talking about availability en masse, we believe this is going to be happening in the 2nd quarter of next year," she said.
Vaccine makers are expected to submit findings on the trials as early as April next year, said Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research Development.
Infectious disease expert Nina Gloriani, head of the Philippines' COVID-19 vaccine panel, said the country was in talks with the following developers:
- Sinovac (China)
- Sinopharm (China)
- University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
- Moderna (United States)
- Pfizer (United States)
All are already undergoing Phase 3 of trials—the last step before a vaccine can be approved and mass produced. Gloriani said the search panel got limited information on Russia's Sputnik V, which needs further study before local clinical trials commence.
Officials earlier said the Philippines would participate in Phase 3 of the Russia-developed vaccine. President Rodrigo Duterte claimed he would try out the vaccine first to ensure that it's safe for Filipinos to use.