DOH: Pfizer wonât conduct clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine in Philippines
An image related to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

DOH: Pfizer won’t conduct clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine in Philippines

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - September 7, 2020 - 3:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer has no plans of conducting clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the Philippines, the Department of Health said Monday.

In a briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there were no commitments yet made during the government’s meeting with the US drug maker last Friday.

“We just had to explain to them our regulatory processes,” Vergeire said.

“They gave information that they won’t conduct clinical trials in the Philippines because they are well advanced already with their Phase 3 clinical trials,” she said, adding government officials were told that the Phase 3 clinical trials of Pfizer’s candidate vaccine may be done by October.

The health official said most of the discussions during the meeting focused on pre-ordering of the potential vaccines and the Confidential Disclosure Agreement. A CDA contains the agreement between the vaccine manufacturer and the Philippines and details about the products.

Phase 3 clinical trials are large-scale testing on thousands of people to check the safety and efficacy of vaccines. It is an essential phase before receiving regulatory approval.

The government previously said the Philippines was scheduled to start the clinical trials of Sputnik V, Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, in October. Negotiations with Russia are still ongoing, with the Philippines’ vaccine expert panel seeking clarifications on the documents submitted by Moscow.

Meanwhile, five hospitals have been identified as sites for the planned clinical trials of the vaccine candidate produced by Sinovac Biotech Ltd although talks with the Chinese vaccine manufacturer are still on track.

More vaccine talks

Vergeire said discussions with other vaccine developers continue as the country seeks to source COVID-19 vaccines to fight Southeast Asia’s worst outbreak.

She said the Department of Science and Technology has a scheduled meeting with CSL, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine with the University of Queensland in Australia. The University of Queensland is currently undertaking a Phase 1 clinical evaluation of its vaccine candidate.

Vergeire also said the CDA of Moderna—the first company in the US to conduct a Phase 3 clinical study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine—is being studied.

“Once these CDAs are finalized, we can move forward for further meetings to finalize our agreement with them,” she said.

The country’s confirmed coronavirus cases reached over 237,000 as of Sunday.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 2, 2021 - 7:10pm

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)

March 2, 2021 - 7:10pm

A shipment of 3.94 million coronavirus jabs arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday, making Africa's most populous nation the world's third country to receive vaccines under Covax, a global scheme to provide free inoculations, an AFP journalist saw. 

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, are the first of 16 million doses that Covax plans to deliver over the coming months to Nigeria, where they will be given first to healthworkers, the government said. — AFP

March 2, 2021 - 6:14pm

The health ministry announces that Iraq received 50,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by China, launching a long-awaited vaccination campaign.

Health ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr told reporters that the first delivery in the early hours meant inoculations could begin.

"The doses will be delivered to Baghdad's three main hospitals, and maybe to some provinces," says Badr, who confirmed the jabs were donations. — AFP 

March 1, 2021 - 9:12pm

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday became the first recipient of a coronavirus vaccine under the global Covax scheme, as US health workers prepared to distribute nearly four million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson jab.

Covax, a scheme designed to ensure that poorer countries do not miss out on Covid-19 vaccines that have so far been largely hoovered up by rich nations, is aiming to deliver at least two billion doses by the end of the year.

Akufo-Addo received his AstraZeneca shot live on television along with his wife, a day before the rest of the first batch of 600,000 Covax doses are deployed across Ghana.

"It is important that I set the example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it, so that everybody in Ghana can feel comfortable about taking this vaccine," the president said. — AFP

March 1, 2021 - 11:31am

Four million doses of the latest Covid-19 vaccine to get US approval will be delivered across the country as early as Tuesday, a senior administration official said.

The United States on Saturday authorized Johnson & Johnson's Covid vaccine for emergency use, boosting President Joe Biden's plan to battle the outbreak that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.

The single-shot vaccine — the third type to be authorized — is highly effective in preventing severe Covid-19, including against newer variants, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said before giving it a green light. —  AFP

March 1, 2021 - 7:06am

Willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine is on the rise compared to last year, a survey of six industrialised countries published on Monday shows.

More people in the United Kingdom, the United States and even vaccine-sceptical France now accept the idea of getting a coronavirus jab, KekstCNC, an international consultancy, says in the survey conducted in February.

The survey also covers Germany, Japan and Sweden where a similar trend was clear, it says.

"As vaccine rollouts commence, higher numbers of people in all countries say they would take the vaccine," the study says. —  AFP

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