The government has already selected 11 hospitals to be the hospital site for the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘Solidarity Trial’ or comprehensive clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccines next month.
The list includes eight from Metro Manila, such as Manila Doctors Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, St. Lukes Medical Center in Quezon City and Taguig, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Makati Medical Center and UP-Philippine General Hospital, which will serve as the main implementer of the trials.
Outside the region, three hospitals are also involved: De La Salle Medical Center in Cavite, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, along with Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu; and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
According to the Department of Science and Technology Sec. Fortunato dela Peña, the government has already ironed out some preparations related to the upcoming trials.
As recently approved guidelines on zoning or areas that will be covered by clinical trials of the international organization. Apart from the trials to be conducted by the WHO, the Independent trials of other vaccines will also be introduced into the country.
“The sub-technical working group, led by DOST, will also recommend, although it has not yet been taken to the IATF, to create a Safety and Monitoring Committee.”
According to the tentative schedule released by the Department of Health, vaccines that are part of the WHO Solidarity Trial are expected to be named in the third or last week of September. Sec. Dela Peña said the two trials will not clash, in case the development of vaccines that the WHO cannot choose is faster.
So far, eight vaccines from more than 200 candidate vaccines are in Phase 3 of clinical trials in various countries. Three of them, including five vaccine developers with bilateral agreements in the Philippines: Russia’s Sputnik V, and Sinovac vaccines and Sinopharm biopharmaceutical companies from China.
“In the IATF resolution, it states that the WHO has priority in zoning but will ensure that the Independent Trials have zones. “The trials of vaccines (from) in America, so far we have not received such intentions.”
DOST had earlier said that eight barangays were also targeted to be included in the WHO vaccine trials. The Science department has already allocated P89-million in the trial. Manufacturers, on the other hand, have their own costs of rolling vaccines in Independent trials.