2 leading vaccines eyed for WHO Solidarity Trial

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two leading vaccines are likely to be included in the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said yesterday.

According to DOST’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) head Nina Gloriani, there are five candidate-vaccines for COVID-19 and two of them are the “most promising.”

But Gloriani declined to name them until the WHO finalizes a list of qualified vaccines for the trial.?“They are already leading vaccines. They should be in the advanced stage. They are in our radar but unless it is official, we cannot (identify) them,” she told a briefing organized by the Department of Health.

Gloriani said it takes a long time to choose the vaccines to use in the trial because “they are very careful” about this.

The trial, she said, may start in the Philippines in January. She noted that laboratory requirements are being completed, such as the cold chain storage, real time-polymerase chain reaction testing quality assurance, blood sample collections, preservation, storage and laboratory supplies such as the personal protective equipment.?The number of participating hospitals has grown from 10 to 14 with the Philippine General Hospital as lead hospital.

The four new hospitals are the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City.

Gloriani added the barangays taking part in the trial have already been identified.

These barangays are located in Manila, Pasay City, Taguig City, Cordillera Administrative Region and Davao.

“The barangays are being monitored closely by the vaccination team. What they have chosen are the barangays with ‘attack rate’ of more than one percent or have consistent infections over the past four to six weeks,” she maintained.

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