DOST to lead clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccine from Russia

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

August 11, 2020, 9:41 pm

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will lead the clinical trials for a coronavirus virus (Covid-19) vaccine developed and offered to the Philippines by the Russian Federation, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday.

In a message to reporters, the DOH said the DOST is the lead agency in the vaccine development portfolio and it will do the clinical trials in accordance with the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.

"No updates as to number of volunteers in the clinical trial," it added.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has proposed to establish partnership with the Philippines to conduct clinical trials, supply doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and set-up local manufacturing.

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte accepted Russia's offer and even volunteered to take the first shot of the vaccine from Russia in public.

The Russian Federation has completed the Phase 3 of clinical trials on the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the National Research Center for Epidemiology, according to the DOH.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the first coronavirus vaccine in the world has been registered in Russia.

According to Anadolu News report, Putin told a meeting with members of the government in Moscow that the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center, has an official registration with the Russian Health Ministry.

Putin added that the vaccine trials have yielded positive results, with all volunteers having built up immunity to the coronavirus.

The vaccine is based on adenovirus and contains dead Covid-19 particles that cannot multiply and are therefore safe, said Alexander Gintzburg, head of the center.

Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Russia that "it should not stray from the usual methods of testing a vaccine for safety and effectiveness".

In the latest WHO's list of vaccine trials globally, the Russian phase of the Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials is not included. (PNA)