THE House committee on people’s participation has vowed to facilitate cooperation in the conduct of clinical studies on the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccine to ensure its availability in the country at the earliest possible time.
This was the statement made by San Jose del Monte Rep. Florida Robes, chairperson of the panel, during a committee meeting with representatives from the Russian Embassy on updates of its newly-developed vaccine for COVID-19, the Sputnik V.
Robes said her committee will make representations with concerned agencies like the Departments of Health (DoH) and Science and Technology (DoST) to inquire into the status of the vaccine now being studied for Phase 3 of the clinical trials.
“We will help fast-track cooperation with the Russian government and our local agencies. We will hold another meeting with the DoH and the DoST for them to brief us on the status of Sputnik V so that we will know if there are concerns that can be addressed so that we can have access to it at the earliest possible time,” Robes said.
Vladisav Mongush, Commercial Advisor of the Russian Embassy, also announced during the meeting that Russia is set to conduct the vaccination for COVID-19 of their medical frontliners this September 15.
He also belied earlier reports that the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who took part in the clinical trials of Sputnik V, has died saying the report is “pure fake news”.
Tatiana Shlychkova, Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Russian Embassy, said their vaccine has been proven to be safe and efficient in providing immunity to the COVID-19 virus using human adenovirus vectors, which were highly effective in the tests for the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, coronavirus.
Shlychkova said she herself already received the vaccine because she believes in its safety and efficacy.
Mongush said a Non-Disclosure Agreement had already been signed between Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology, manufacturer of Sputnik V, and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development to allow the latter to study the vaccine for the third phase of clinical trials. If its safety and efficacy is established, the Philippine government may start the third phase this October.
Shlychkova said the clinical trials may last for three months and if all goes well, the vaccine may be made available as early as January next year for the country.
“The speed to have the vaccine will really depend on the speed on how Philippine officials will conduct the tests on the vaccine,” she said.
Mongush said the Russian government is also open to allowing to set up a local manufacturing facility in the Philippines for Sputnik V not only to enable the country to make their own vaccine but also to complement existing efforts for vaccine production for other illnesses.
Robes vowed to continue with the meetings and dialogues with the different stakeholders in the vaccine development for COVID-19.
“We want to ensure that as long as their safety and efficacy are proven and established, the Filipino people will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine so that we can all start to recover and move forward,” she said.