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Faster procurement of COVID-19 vaccines assured in Bayanihan 2 —Angara

The proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 has a provision aimed at easing the process for the procurement of vaccines against COVID-19, Senator Sonny Angara said Thursday.

"Sa kasalukuyang batas, sa Universal Health Care, kailangan hanggang Stage 4 trial. Medyo matagal 'yun. So dito inilagay natin kahit wala pa 'yung Stage 4 trials for the duration of COVID-19, basta na-certify na ng World Health Organization, puwede na mag-advance procurement," Angara told reporters in an online interview.

"Kasi alam natin agawan 'yan eh pagdating ng panahon magkakaroon ng pila for the vaccine... Ginawa natin 'yun para hindi tali ang kamay ng ating gobyerno, para mauna dito sa vaccine," he added.

Nonetheless, Angara said that the distribution protocol will still be carried out by health authorities in the country.

"It's not actually a waiver of the Phase 4 trials. 'Yung procurement, puwede nang gawin kahit wala pa 'yung Phase 4 trials pero 'yung distribution of any vaccine kailangan pa rin 'yung Phase 4 trial," he said.

"We have a general provision that the safety protocols will be dictated by the Food and Drug Administration and the Health Technology Assessment Council of DOH," he added.

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Phase 4 of clinical trials refers to the "completion of the post-marketing surveillance or study of the vaccine" to ensure safety.

The country's FDA said a vaccine against COVID-19 may be available by the end of the year as those being developed in China, US, London, and Russia are already under the Phase 3 trial.

Some 1,000 Filipinos would join Phase 3 of the clinical trials for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. —LDF, GMA News