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Philippines to start COVID-19 vaccine trials mid-January -DOST

The World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial on COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines is expected to start in January 2021, the head of the country's Vaccine Expert Panel said Friday.

Dr. Nina Gloriana made the announcement around a month after the Health department announced that the said WHO clinical trial on COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines is expected to start by third week of December this year.

"Maybe the possible start will be by early or mid January 2021," Gloriani said in a virtual forum.

The WHO Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 vaccine trial in the Philippines will cover 14 hospitals and a number of communities in National Capital Region where most of the COVID-19 cases are, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cavite province as well as the cities of Cebu, Davao and Iloilo.

Gloriani, however, did not identify the manufacturers included in the WHO Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines.

"I cannot say that at this point, until it becomes official. Pero napag-aralan na po iyan ang VEP," she added.

Only vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca have showed at least 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 after human trials so far.

The Philippine government has inked a deal with AstraZeneca and the private sector for 2.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine but all of those are funded by the private sector to be donated to the government and are only good for one million people. -NB, GMA News