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COVID-19 vaccine possibly available by end of 2020 —FDA

A vaccine against COVID-19 infection may be available by the end of the year, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director general and Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said Thursday.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, Domingo said that hundreds of vaccines are being developed and some such as those from China, US, London, and Russia are already under the Phase 3 trial.

“Well, nandyan po ang posibilidad. Hindi naman siguro October kundi by end of the year,” he said.

According to Domingo, the Phase 3 trial can be finished in two to three months.

“Kapag may mga nakita tayo, depende sa resulta, makita talaga na safe and effective after the Phase 3, then it’s really possible na before the end of the year meron nang bakuna na magpaparehistro, hindi lang sa Pilipinas kundi sa ibang mga bansa,” he said.

On Wednesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there is still no certainty if vaccine will be available locally by December despite the development in Russia regarding a COVID-19 vaccine

“Hindi pa po natin masabi kasi nasa Phase 3 pa lang ng clinical trials. Makikita po natin kung paano magpo-progress ito,” she said.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia became the first country in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, calling it Sputnik V.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said he had accepted Putin's offer to provide the country with a vaccine against COVID-19 and that he is willing to try it for himself during clinical trials.

Citing information from a meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO), Domingo said that there were doubts on how Russia jumped to the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Ang huling update natin ay sa Russia mukhang nasa Phase 2 clinical trial pa lamang at patapos pa lamang. Kaya siguro nagulat din ang buong mundo na biglang kine-claim nila na approved na,” he said.

"Hindi natin alam kung ano 'yung approval process na nangyari sa Russia or baka talagang nag-approve na sila after Phase 2 o kung talagang na-complete nila 'yung Phase 3,’ he added.

Domingo said the FDA will get more information about the approval of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Vergeire also said that government will still subject the Russia-made vaccine against COVID-19 to regulatory procedures before clearing it for clinical trials.

Side effects

Meanwhile, in the same interview, Domingo reminded the public of the possible side effects of these vaccines being developed, saying such would depend on the type of the vaccine.

“Unang-una 'yung mga local side effects: pamamaga sa site ng injection, ‘yung pananakit ng katawan. Merong iba nagkakaroon sila ng mild symptoms: pamimigat ng katawan right after the vaccine,” he said.

Domingo assured the public that the FDA will look into these possibilities before certifying any vaccines against COVID-19. —AOL/KBK, GMA News