PH to increase WHO solidarity trial participants to 4K

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

October 28, 2020, 5:22 pm

MANILA – The Philippines will increase the number of participants in the World Health Organization (WHO) solidarity trial on potential coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines, which will start locally in December, a health official said Wednesday.

“Yes, we are in that direction that we will be increasing the number of participants to 4,000. We are just making final arrangements with WHO,” Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a mix of Filipino and English during a virtual media forum.

Earlier, WHO Philippines Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said they are hoping that the Philippines would increase its participants from between 2,000 and 3,000 to 4,000.

Trial volunteers must be 18 to 60 years and without comorbidities. Pregnant women would not be considered.

As for US Pfizer and Moderna, Vergeire reported the talks are still ongoing.

“We're still trying to negotiate and we're still trying to have a discussion with them. So there is still no certainty, we still do not have confirmed details regarding this matter,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English. (PNA