(Eagle News) — The Department of Health is reserving its comment on what Russia has touted as the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.
In a television interview, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Phase 3 of the clinical trials needed to be completed first.
Apart from Sputnik V, she said the country was looking at five other possible vaccines.
Meanwhile, clinical trials in the Philippines for Japan’s antiviral drug Avigan will run for nine months, Vergeire said in a separate interview with reporters.
Vergeire made the disclosure days after Japan announced it had provided the Philippines with 100 tablets for the trials, which started on Aug. 10.
Vergeire had said the tablets–which reportedly cause birth defects— no longer needed to undergo the Philippines’ regulatory processes as they have already been approved by Japan’s Food and Drug Administration.
The Japanese embassy has said that “each recipient government has acknowledged Avigan’s proper usage and prescription in view of its known adverse side effects.”
According to Vergeire, so far, the Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Quirino Memorial Medical Center and Sta. Ana Hospital have been identified as the sites of the trials.
The World Health Organization has said there are so far 168 candidate vaccines around the world.