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DOST wants more data on results of Russian study on COVID-19 vaccine

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) still wants more data on a study claiming that Russia's COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V was effective in creating antibodies with no serious effects.

In the study, Russian researchers found that the vaccine was "safe, well tolerated, and does not cause serious adverse events in healthy adult volunteers."

The vaccine test involved two small trials, each involving 38 healthy adults aged between 18 and 60, who were given a two-part immunization.

But DOST Undersecretary Jaime Montoya said he still wanted to see specifics of the test results, saying what Russia shared to the public were "general statements."

"Base sa analysis ng ating vaccine expert panel [dito sa Pilipinas] wala kasi iyong numero, iyong level. Sinabi lang nila 100 percent pero di nila sinabi gaano kataas. Hindi puwedeng general statements lang ibibigay," he said in a report on 24 Oras Weekend.

"Sinusukat iyan. Halimbawa, binakunahan ka, kukunan ka ng dugo. Sa dugo malalaman kung may antibodies ka, iyong panlaban sa impeksyon," he added.

Montoya added that experts should first make sure that antibodies produced by the vaccine are long-lasting before giving it approval.

"So meron ka nga [antibodies] pero gaano kataas? Mataas ba or mababa? Halimabawa binigyan ka ng bakuna ngayon after one month, uulitin ang blood exam mo. Titignan ang anti-bodies. Andun pa ba siya o nawala na," he said, clarifying however that the DOST is not casting doubt on the Russian test results.

Researchers of the Russian tests underlined that larger and longer trials -- including a placebo comparison -- would be needed to establish the long-term safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for preventing COVID-19 infection.

The report said the 76 participants of these trials would be monitored up to 180 days, adding that a more rigorous phase 3 clinical trial was planned with the involvement of 40,000 volunteers "from different age and risk groups."

Russia has said that industrial production of its version is expected from September.

President Vladimir Putin said in early August that the vaccine gave "sustainable immunity" and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated, even though Russia's health ministry said clinical trials were not yet complete.

The World Health Organization has urged Russia to follow established guidelines and go "through all the stages" necessary to develop a safe vaccine. -MDM, GMA News