"We have completed the preparations. Therefore, when the WHO signals that we can start, we are ready for these trials"
On October 7, Maria Rosario Vergeire, Deputy Minister of Health of the Philippines, held an online press conference to assure the public that once the World Health Organization launches the "Solidarity Test", the Philippines can immediately begin clinical trials of the COVID-19 virus vaccine.
Vergeire emphasised: "We have completed the preparations. Therefore, when the WHO signals that we can start, we are ready for these trials."
Professors from the Philippine General Hospital have submitted a clinical trial protocol, which has now been approved.
Vergeire said: "(They) have also identified clinical trial locations in the Philippines together with the WHO. These have been studied, and benchmark considerations for determining trial locations will be included in the standard procedures."
Earlier, the Philippine government has stated that the country would recruit volunteers to participate in the trial from the 5 to 10 regions where has the highest rate of COVID-19 confirmed cases.
Th Ministry of Health stated that since clinical trials will be carried out in the community, the central government has been in contact with relevant local government departments and discussed various matters such as the memorandum of agreement between local and central government departments.
She added: “We will be in touch with the community to inform the relevant communities about the trials that will be conducted, the advantages of these vaccines, the possible adverse effects and how to benefit the community.”
Although there were earlier reports that a COVID -19 virus vaccine may be available before mid-2021, the World Health Organization stated on October 6 that the vaccine may not be available until the end of next year.
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