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Russia says Philippines may manufacture anti-COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V

Russia is open to the Philippines producing locally the anti-COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, an official of its embassy in Manila said on Thursday.

Tatiana Shlychkova, Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Russian Embassy in the Philippines, said Russia proposed three options for the Philippines to acquire the vaccine.

One is by providing the vaccine itself, another is by participating in the clinical trials, and last is to put up a local manufacturer of the vaccine here in the Philippines.

"We are very open for any cooperation in the [production] of the vaccine because we do believe that it is quite important to share our opportunities and possibilities to our partners," Shlychkova said in a virtual hearing of the House Committee on People's Participation.

"We are ready to share our technologies... If you will establish such basis for production of any vaccine, you can use it in the future," she added.

President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to provide the country with a vaccine against COVID-19, even offering himself as participant during clinical trials.

Malacañang also said the Philippines was ready to work with Russia in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Philippines stands ready to work with Russia on clinical trials, vaccine supply and production, and other areas deemed practicable by relevant Philippine and Russian agencies to address this global health emergency,” the Palace said through the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs.

Vladislav Mongush, first secretary at the Russian Embassy in the Philippines, said the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund have already started exchanging information regarding the vaccine.

"Let's give your experts some time to review and analyze the documents that Gamaleya Research Institute provided," he said.

"So we think that conducting clinical trials is the best way for the Philippine side to prove and to see the effectiveness of the vaccine. We think this is the best way and the safest of course," he added.

However, the availability of the vaccine in the Philippines will still depend on how well the Russian and Philippine authorities would cooperate, Mongush said.

"We are ready to move as fast as possible due to the conditions here and due to the speed of work of your Philippine scientists," he said.

"I think Philippine authorities should also review the documents for state registration of these vaccines and give approval for the use of that vaccine," he added.

PCHRD executive director Dr. Jaime Montoya earlier said around 10,000 Filipinos will join the third and final phase of clinical trials for Sputnik V vaccine.

He added that the vaccine cannot be registered in the Philippines until after the Phase 3 trial is completed. -NB, GMA News