Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla on Thursday urged the Department of Health (DOH) to be cautious in the process of evaluating a vaccine for COVID-19.
Remulla expressed concern specifically on Russia's "Sputnik V" vaccine, which has been developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in coordination with Russia's defense ministry. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to provide the Philippines with this vaccine.
He pointed out that the data on Russia's vaccine is unavailable and that the methodology on how it is developed is not open to the public, adding that its effectiveness has supposedly not been subjected yet to a review.
"Ako po ay nababahala sa mainit na balita na ang Russia ay maglalabas na ng vaccine para sa COVID-19. I have nothing against the Russians nor am I connected to any preferred country or vaccine manufacturer," Remulla said in a Facebook post.
"I do not stand to gain on this but forgive me if my primary interest is to safeguard the health and safety of my constituents in Cavite," he added.
MECQ S5 E4. "ETIVACCINE" And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Then he said,...Posted by Jonvic Remulla on Wednesday, August 12, 2020
He cited dengue vaccine Dengvaxia as a "feasible example of a vaccine gone bad." It was in 2017 when Sanofi Pasteur announced that Dengvaxia may lead to “severe” dengue symptoms to seronegative person or those who have not had dengue before immunization.
"Many died from its misuse and because of this many became anti to the use of vaccines," Remulla said.
"In this regard, I am asking the Department of Health to please safeguard the process of review, approval, and appropriation of the COVID-19 vaccine," he added.
"If we [do] not get the containment strategy right then let us ensure that the curative portion is done correctly. Please exercise caution and have the people's interest at heart," Remulla said.
The DOH has said more study and information is still needed with the Russian vaccine even President Rodrigo Duterte already said that he has accepted Putin's offer. He even said he is willing to try it during clinical trials.
Meanwhile, Remulla bared that the province is set to be subjected to a Phase 3 field trial of two pharmaceutical companies for a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Sa trial na gagawin, 5,000 dito ay tatanggap ng bakuna habang 5,000 ay placebo. Ang ibig sabihin po ng placebo, ang matatanggap ng kalahati ay walang therapeutic effect. Ito ay standard protocol sa lahat ng clinical trials na ginagawa sa buong mundo," he said.
He ensured that the process would undergo intense scrutiny as the scientific community will determine its validity and efficacy.—AOL, GMA News