MANILA, Philippines — Residents of Quezon City may be qualified to join the clinical trials for the vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which was developed by Russia as several of its barangays have local transmission of the virus, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.
Malacañang said the Philippines will conduct clinical trials of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine from October 2020 to March 2021.
Some 1,000 Filipinos will join the clinical trials, the Department of Science and Technology earlier said.
“Ang alam ko, they are looking for 1,000 volunteers. So it will be purely voluntary. They have to be in community na may local transmission,” said Nograles in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“So with that, I think some of the residents of QC might qualify for that,” he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier announced Moscow has approved and registered a vaccine for COVID-19 called “Sputnik V,” said to be the first in the world.
Some experts, however, are skeptical over Russia’s vaccine due its supposed lack of transparency in their scientific breakthrough.
“If I were to assume how they’re gonna do it, they would probably look into which cities have local transmissions and then from there, do a randomized pagpili or something to that effect. I think necessarily may mga Quezon City residents who will be asked to join the clinical trials,” Nograles said.
Nograles along with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III were assigned in Quezon City by the government’s COVID-19 task force to help the local government unit harmonize its efforts to address the pandemic with the national government.
In the same interview, Nograles said Quezon City has 25 barangays which are of “special concern” due to community transmissions.
As of Thursday, Quezon City recorded 8,240 COVID-19 cases with 338 fatalities and 5,756 recoveries.
The figure is out of 147,526 COVID-19 infections nationwide with 2,426 deaths and 70,387 recoveries.
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