Duterte thanks Russia for offer to supply COVID-19 vaccine
(Philstar.com) - August 11, 2020 - 12:09am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte thanked Russia late Monday night for an offer to supply a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

Duterte has repeatedly said that Filipinos will need to cooperate with authorities enforcing quarantine protocols and bear the effects of the pandemic until a vaccine is developed.

He said he was very happy that Russia would supply the vaccine "and they are not talking about any payment."

"Ito tingin ko kay President (Vladimir) Putin, tulong niya sa atin ng libre (I view this as President Putin's help to us for free)," he said.

He said he and Putin would still discuss the details of the clinical trial for the vaccine.

"Well, mag-injection muna tayo ng iilan tapos tingnan natin ang resulta (We will inject it in some people and we will look at the results)," he said.

The president also tasked Health Secretary Francisco Duque III "to look for the best guy to be given the [task of handling] the transfer of tehcnology of the vaccine."

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev is quoted in news reports as saying over the weekend that Russia has developed a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 and is only waiting for the Philippines to accept its offer.

He also said that the applications have been filed at the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.

"It means that we are ready to combine our efforts, we are ready to make necessary investments together with our Philippine partners and we are ready to share our technologies simply because we want to build a robust partnership between our two nations," he also reportedly said.

"May tiwala ako na di sila nagkamali... Kung puwede sa akin, puwede sa lahat. Kung hindi puwede sa akin, 'yan ang problema," Duterte said Monday, claiming he would be the first to test the vaccine. 

(I trust that they have not made a mistake. If it works on me, it will work on all. If it doesn't work on me, then that is a problem)

The president also said that the vaccine will be "distributed worldwide by September or October."

According to guidelines on clinical trials set by the US Food and Drug Administration, Phase 1 of clinical trials usually involve 20 to 100 volunteers and last for "several months."

Phase 2 will involve "up to several hundred people with the disease [or] condition" and can last between several months to two years.

Phase 3 clinical trials involve "300 to 3,000 volunteers who have the disease or condition" and can take from a year to four years.

Phase 4 trials, which test for safety and efficacy, involve "several thousand volunteers."

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 30, 2020 - 8:10am

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK said on July 29, 2020, that they have agreed to supply Britain with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement covers a vaccine candidate developed by France's Sanofi in partnership with the UK's GSK and is subject to a "final contract."

This thread collects some of the major developments in the search for a vaccine to ease the new coronavirus pandemic. (Main photo by AFP/Joel Saget)

September 30, 2020 - 8:10am

The World Bank says it has asked its board of directors to approve $12 billion to help poor countries purchase and distribute eventual vaccines against COVID-19.

The bank has already implemented emergency response programs in 111 countries and the extra money, if approved, would be aimed at low- and middle-income countries.

"An effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine is the most promising path forward for the world to reopen safely," a World Bank spokesman says. — AFP

September 26, 2020 - 1:38pm

Latin American leaders have appealed at the United Nations for free access to a future COVID-19 vaccine, urging major powers to share their know-how for the sake of global well-being.

Latin America has taken a heavy blow from Covid-19 with nearly nine million cases and more than 330,000 deaths, one third of the global total, according to an AFP tally based on official data.

"With the pandemic, as with poverty, nobody will be saved on their own," Argentine President Alberto Fernandez tells the UN General Assembly, which is taking place virtually due to the health crisis. — AFP

September 25, 2020 - 9:31am

Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña says the Philippines had signed six confidentiality agreements with foreign pharmaceutical companies for COVID-19 vaccine.

These are:

Russia's Sputnik V (clinical trial and local manufacturing)
China's Sinovac (clinical trial and local manufacturing)
China's Sinopharm (procurement)
China's ZFSW (clinical trial)
Australia's University of Queensland (clinical trial)
Taiwan's Adimmune (clinical trial)

September 22, 2020 - 12:01pm

More than 60 wealthy nations have joined a WHO-backed programme to facilitate poor countries' access to coronavirus vaccines, but the US and China are not on the list published Monday.

The World Health Organization has in coordination with the global vaccine alliance group Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) created a mechanism aimed at ensuring a more equitable distribution of any future COVID-19 vaccines.

But the mechanism, known as Covax, has struggled to raise the funds needed to provide for the 92 low-income countries and other economies that quickly signed up. 


September 16, 2020 - 10:40am

President Donald Trump says that a coronavirus vaccine may be available within a month -- an acceleration of even his own surprisingly optimistic predictions -- but added that the pandemic could go away by itself.

"We're very close to having a vaccine," he tells a town hall question-and-answer session with voters in Pennsylvania aired on ABC News.

"We're within weeks of getting it you know -- could be three weeks, four weeks," he says. — AFP

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