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‘Zone’ in Cebu chosen for COVID vaccine clinical trial

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | September 10,2020 - 12:29 PM
‘Zone’ in Cebu chosen for COVID vaccine clinical trial

FILE PHOTO: A small bottle labeled with a “Vaccine” sticker is held near a medical syringe in front of displayed “Coronavirus COVID-19” words in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced on Thursday, September 10, 2020, that Cebu is among the areas in the country where coronavirus vaccine clinical trials will be conducted.

DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña, in a Laging Handa press briefing, said they have identified at least eight ‘zones’ to do the experiments.

Peña said six of these zones are found in Metro Manila, one in Calabarzon (Region IV-A), and one in Cebu.

He said experts are likely to choose the specific areas wherein high cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported.

Peña also said their recommendations in conducting the clinical trials were already approved by the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force.

“Usually it will require anywhere around five to 10 barangays for a trial (in the identified zones),” said Peña.

“Hindi pwedeng magdoble ang isang clinical trial sa isang zone (There will be no duplication of clinical trials in one zone),” he added.

The DOST top official also said zones chosen will be prioritized for the implementation of the Solidarity Trials from the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Pero titiyakin natin na yung independent trials magkaroon din nang trial zones (But we will make sure the independent trials will also have their trial zones),” Peña added.

Meanwhile, Peña also said the Philippine government has signed confidentiality data agreements with makers of seven potential vaccines.

This will allow PH to access data on clinical trials and for vaccine expert panel, FDA to assess if clinical trials should be done here.

Potential vaccines would need approval of vaccine expert panel, FDA, Ethics Board before proceeding with clinical trial here.

Dela Peña also said at least three to six months needed before clinical trials would yield results. / with reports from Inquirer.net

/bmjo

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