A House panel is set to continue looking into the latest development on the clinical studies for Sputnik V, a Russian-made vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to chairman of the House committee on people participation and San Jose del Monte Rep. Florida Robes, today’s meeting of the committee is a follow through of the meeting with the Russian Embassy on the vaccine’s development.
“Since the Philippines is one of the countries that is currently studying the vaccine, we want to be given updates on its trials to give our people information and to help to facilitate cooperation between the two countries to ensure its availability in the country if the tests go well at the earliest possible time,” Robes said.
Invited are officials of the Departments of Health and Department of Science and Technology to inquire into the status of the vaccine now being studied for Phase 3 of the clinical trials.
Robes also earlier pushed for the approval of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Currently, the drug is still in the “investigational phase” in the country and is administered only to those with severe cases of Covid-19.
In the earlier meeting, Russian Embassy officials led by Tatiana Shlychkova, Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission and Vladisav Mongush, Commercial Advisor, told the committee that 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 of the DOST to allow the latter to study the vaccine for the third phase of clinical trials.
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.
Robes said she wants to know if the Philippine government has already started with the third phase of the trials this October as earlier revealed during the meeting.
Shlychkova had 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 stated.
Mongush said the Russian government is also open to allowing to set up a local manufacturing facility in the Philippines for the 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.