The Philippines is looking to launch clinical trials for the Russian coronavirus vaccine in October, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday. Phase three clinical trials in the Philippines are due to run from October 2020 to March 2021, after an expert panel finishes its review on the results of the trials in Russia, he added.
According to the official statement, President Duterte may get vaccinated as early as May 2021.
The vaccine registered as Gam-COVID-Vac and dubbed Sputnik V (in reference to the first satellite, launched by the USSR in 1957), has already undergone two trials. The volunteers who took the drug developed immunity to the coronavirus, which, according to medics, could provide them with at least two years of protection.
Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev announced the phase 3 trials this week, stating they would be held in the country, as well as abroad - in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The first batch of the coronavirus vaccine is set to be delivered to hospitals in the coming weeks and is expected to become available to the wider public starting 1 January 2021. According to the authorities, its total output is expected to reach 500 million doses in the first 12 months, and later it may be exported - but only after demand in the country is met.