Department of Science and Technology (DOST) divulged that India and Canada expressed interest in forming a collaboration with the Philippines in their vaccine trials against COVID-19 virus.

DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development executive director Jaime Montoya shared that the Philippines received two separate proposals; one came from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and the other from Bharat Biotech in India.

These two countries are possible partners of the Philippines, Montoya said.

“We do not know yet which (of the two vaccines) would be effective, that is why the clinical trial phase 3 has to be done. If the result is good, it will gain fast registration to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) because of the patients’ experience and data from the clinical trial where we would participate,” he explained.

The necessary process involved the approval and permission of the FDA to hold clinical trials in the Philippines. India would start the clinical trial phase 3 in September, while Canada would most likely begin phase 1 by the first quarter of 2021. Once approved and permitted, clinical trials would then be done in the Philippines.

He added that the vaccines will be tested in areas populated of many cases such as the Philippines and has to prove that it can “prevent cases and protect the people.”

For DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, it gives the Philippines more options of vaccines to work with, and that the clinical trials will determine which of the two nations catering the developing vaccines is “truly effective.”

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