PH starts coordination with int'l partners for vaccine trials

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MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through its foreign service posts, has initiated coordination between international partners and the Philippine government on vaccine developments.

The department said this is in line with government efforts to ensure that Filipinos would have access to viable coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines once available.

The DFA has reportedly initiated coordination with some 36 countries across the globe.

“Information on vaccine developments and potential international partners were endorsed by the DFA to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as the chair of the Sub-Technical Working Group (sTWG) on Covid-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials,” it said on Friday.

Meanwhile, it deferred to the DOST when asked to identify the foreign partners it endorsed.

“We defer to DOST as sTWG chair on whether information can be shared as of the moment — there may be protocols that need to be followed. As to the timetables, I believe everyone is trying to find a safe and viable vaccine as soon as possible, based on proper scientific and ethical procedures,” DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez told reporters.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) had earlier approved Manila’s participation in clinical trials for five candidate Covid-19 vaccines, in collaboration with three developers from China and two from Taiwan.

The vaccine developers include China’s SinoPharma – Wuhan Institute and Beijing Biologicals Institute, Chinese Academy for Science – Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, and SINOVAC Biotech, as well as Taiwan’s Adimmune Corp. and Academia Sinica.

Earlier, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev also shared that the Philippines is keen to join the clinical trials led by Novosibirsk-based State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR.

“As the whole nation strives to heal as one, the DFA stands ready to support and complement efforts of Philippine government agencies in response to the current pandemic and eventually secure a viable vaccine for Covid-19 for Filipinos in the soonest possible time,” the DFA said.

Furthermore, it has also facilitated international humanitarian assistance to support the government’s Covid-19 response.

As of this posting, the agency has processed and helped in facilitating the assistance from nine countries and six of their medical agencies, four international organizations, and 33 private companies, groups, and individuals. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government under the supervision of the News and Information Bureau (NIB) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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