With the coronavirus proving to be a dangerous disease, many health experts are scrambling to find a vaccine that will protect an individual from contracting COVID-19. Several developers have already started research and trials of some vaccines they have created in the past few months, of course with supervision from the World Health Organization (WHO).
This is a step in the right direction which many others want to follow but do not have the capacity to do so. And this includes the Philippines, who does not have the means to develop their own vaccine for COVID-19. (Read: Pope Francis: ‘COVID-19 vaccine should be shared to the world when discovered’)
Good thing, health experts from various institutions do not let Filipinos miss out on a vaccine for a deadly disease such as the coronavirus. Which is why the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), along with other health institutions, are currently in talks with the World Health Organization to join trials for potential COVID-19 vaccines.
“Tayo po ay sasali sa tinatawag nating solidarity trial for vaccines na sinusupervise ng WHO. Ito po ay isang pag-aaral na titignan ng ligtas, pinakamabisa, at pinakaepektibong na bakuna na lalawakan ng maraming bansa,” said Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of PCHRD.
Montoya adds that this will ensure that Filipinos will be able to have access to a registered COVID-19 vaccine once one is proven effective and made available to the public. (Read: Prayers for Those Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic)
According to Professor Nina Gloriani of the University of the Philippines College of Public Health, around 1,000 to 5,000 individuals aged 18-59 may become participants of the said trials. Volunteers will be prioritized based on risk of exposure to the disease (e.g. health workers, frontliners). These clinical trials will be conducted alongside the WHO trial for the vaccine.
Aside from this, the Philippines is also part of five other clinical trials for a vaccine from different developers as well. All these trials are not to be confused with the WHO Solidarity Trial which aimed to find a treatment for the disease, instead of finding a prevention.
As of writing, the WHO Solidarity Trials for a treatment has been discontinued indefinitely, as the drugs used in the trial had little effect.