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COVID-19 Vaccine: Sputnik V Availability in Philippines is by April 2021

Photo from Voa.com

The Russia’s anti-COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V is seen to be available in the Philippine for commercial use by April 2021, said the Philippine official who recently met with Russian authorities on Thursday.

The executive director of Philippine Council for Health Research, Dr. Jaime Montoya, was part of a team of Philippine health and vaccine experts. He has recently met the representatives of Sputnik V’s Russian manufacturer Gamaleya and other Russian investors in connection with Phase 3 of clinical trials in the Philippines.

According to Montoya, “Kailangan approved muna ng Russian FDA (Food and Drug Administration) bago ma-approve ng FDA ng ibang bansa. Ang projection po nila (Russians) ng kanilang FDA approval ay January 2021,” she said on his interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

Pag na-approve na po nila, pag-aaralan po ng FDA natin rito, kaya mga second quarter po, mga April 2021, ma-approve rito, magiging available na po rito,” he added.

Montoya also said that Russia’s FDA approval is different from the Russian government’s approval of Sputnik V since the latter approval is only a certification for emergency use given the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ginagawa lang po iyong [certification for emergency use] pag may pandemya. Iyong use po noon, pang healthcare workers lang po at mga high risk [population],” Montoya said.

Di pa po puwede gamitin ng maramihan,” he added.

Moreover, the Russians have expressed willingness to conduct Phase 3 of the clinical trials for Sputnik V in the Philippines at no cost, as long as they are provided with manpower and venue to conduct the trials, said Montoya.

On the other hand, President Rodrigo Duterte has also said earlier that he has accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to provide the country with a vaccine against COVID-19 and is willing to try it on during clinical trials.

However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that Sputnik V, which has not been cleared by the World Health Organization, needs further study.

A total of 168 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, according to a WHO overview published earlier this week.

Of those, 28 have progressed to the various phases of being tested on humans, of which six are the furthest ahead, having reached Phase 3 of clinical trials, as of GMA News.

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