The Philippine government has earmarked P89.1 million for the conduct of World Health Organization (WHO) solidarity trial on vaccine against COVID-19 here in the country, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Wednesday.
Vergeire said the WHO is studying 34 potential vaccines that could be included in the solidarity trial in the Philippines which is expected to start by the third week of October.
“When we say P89.1 million budget for vaccines, ito po iyong for operational expenses [ng solidarity trial rito. Iyong bakuna, ibibigay ng WHO in partnership with manufacturers. Ang implementing agency po ang PGH (Philippine General Hospital), at and duration po ng solidarity trial ay 18 months,” Vergeire said in an online forum.
“The approved P89.1 million budget is under the DOST (Department of Science and Technology). It is expected to start third week of October, but this is tentative,” she added.
While 34 potential vaccines are in consideration of WHO for the solidarity trial, Vergeire said there are those which are ahead of others in consideration.
“Four of those  are in advanced stages, at ito na rin iyong mga nakakausap ng Pilipinas,” she said.
Vergeire said the sites for the WHO solidarity trial on COVID-19 vaccines cannot be disclosed at this point since the list is yet to be finalized.
DOST earlier said the participants of the WHO solidarity trial on COVID-19 vaccines will be compensated for their participation, including food and transportation allowance.
The Philippines has recorded 269,407 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number 207,352 recovered while 4,663 died.
The number of active COVID-19 cases is at 57,392. — RSJ, GMA News