COVID-19 Vaccine Trials in the Philippines

These clinical trials may be our country’s “best short-term strategy”, according to Jaime Montoya, the executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

The Global Effort for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Ever since coronavirus began its take over six months ago, scientists worldwide have been working tirelessly to bring a definitive solution to this pandemic. So far, there are more than 145 vaccines recorded to be in development around the globe. The scientific community hopes that with these active and widespread research, a viable vaccine could be produced and distributed by 2021.

As with all research and development programs, potential vaccines must undergo extensive tests and trials to be deemed acceptable for worldwide production and distribution. Several countries have opted to participate in global trials for frontrunner vaccines. The Philippines, as our Department of Science and Technology hopes, could join this roster of participating countries.

The Ideal Route to Bring COVID-19 Vaccine to Filipinos

Since the Philippines is in no position to produce our own vaccine at the moment, our best bet for COVID-19 vaccine lies in these clinical trials

The DOST is currently working alongside a group of field experts to create a vaccine trial strategy for the Philippines. Our trial participation, Director Montoya explained, could guarantee our country’s immediate access to the verified vaccine after it’s been cleared for public use. FDA-approval could also be achieved much easier if the approved vaccine has already been tested in our country.

For clinical trials to commence, the vaccine candidates must have already passed the pre-clinical stage (animal testing). Only 20 candidates worldwide have been cleared from this stage and are now starting their clinical trials.

Currently, our experts are eyeing to join the following clinical trials:

Wuhan Institute and Beijing Biological Institute (China)
Current Phase: Phase 3 (requires thousands of participant; will test the vaccines protective capabilities against the disease)

Sinovac Biotech Ltd (China)
Current Phase: Phase 3

Unnamed Vaccine
Chinese Academy of Science-Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health (China)
Current Phase: Phase 1 (requires a small number of participants; will test the immune system’s response and its overall safety)

Unnamed Vaccine
Addimune Corporation (Taiwan)
Current Phase: To begin Phase 1 on August 2020

Unnamed Vaccine
Academia Sinica (Taiwan)
Current Phase: To begin Phase 1 by the end of the year

This list may expand as our country is still discussing with other nations for further trial participations. We also hope to join the solidarity trials by the WHO.

Our health experts project that if all goes well, we can begin clinical trials for Filipinos by October.

As we await for the eventual distribution of COVID-19 vaccine, we must make do with the next best thing – diagnostic testing. MEDTEK is currently providing a screening service for Filipinos with the use of the FDA-approved Innovita rapid antibody test kits. This project was made possible by our partnership with various laboratories which allows us to schedule screening tests at their facilities. For quotation and inquiries on our testing service, please fill out the form below.