Explained: Why Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine claims are being questioned

Sinovac from China, possibly the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine to reach PH by 2021 - Galvez

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is proud of the Russian government’s promise to give the country a vaccine against COVID-19.

“Ito, tingin ko kay President [Vladimir] Putin, tulong niya sa atin, libre. Kaya ngayon, tinatanggap natin, at kung ano ang supply, mag-usap pa kami… Pagdating ng bakuna, in public, para walang satsat ‘yan, in public, magpa-injection ako. Ako ‘yung maunang maeksperimentuhan. Okay para sa akin,” Duterte said in a public address on Monday.

The Russian ambassador had earlier said that they were ready to supply the vaccine to the Philippines and have its production in the country.

Russia’s Gamaleya vaccine, made by a government-owned research facility supported by their defense ministry.

Although phase 1 or safety trials of the vaccine started only in June, it will get regulatory approval this month.

On Tuesday afternoon, Putin announced that they had registered the vaccine with Russia.

But some have also expressed doubts about the speed of their process.

According to the vaccine panel of the Department of Science and Technology, due to the pandemic, simultaneous clinical trials are allowed but Russia’s approval is still faster than usual.

“Kaya siguro mabilis kasi yung mga military siguro ang binabakunahan nila kaya madaling makuha ang required participants… So pwede nilang sinabay sabay yun. Pero still I would put at least 3 months bago mo masabi. May possibility naman. Still it’s very fast,” said Dr. Nina Gloriani, head of the DOST COVID-19 vaccine technical panel.

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