Duque: Russian vaccine still needs to be reviewed

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Newly-registered Russian COVID-19 vaccine will need to undergo more study before Philippines accept it for public use, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III clarified on Wednesday.

“Depende pa ‘yan. We have to learn more about it,” Duque responded when asked about President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he has accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to supply the Philippines with a vaccine against COVID-19.

Duterte also said he is willing to volunteer for its clinical trials to prove its safety.

The Health ministry of Russia gave name to the vaccine, “Sputnik V”, a nod to the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, launched by the Soviet Union on Oct. 4, 1957. The said vaccine was approved by the Russian government after less than two months of human testing.

Sputnik V has been developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with Russia defense ministry.

“Wala pa tayong documents (we don’t have any documents yet), we need more information,” Duque said.

Duque’s statement aligned with Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire’s stance, saying that the DOH will wait until the Russian vaccine passes the Phase 3 of the clinical trials.

“Hindi pa po nakakapaglabas ng resulta ang Phase 3 ng clinical trials rito, although sinasabi nila na maganda at okay naman siya. Kailangang antayin po natin ang magiging resulta [ng clinical trials],” Vergeire earlier said.

[Results for Phase 3 of clinical trials are not yet out, although they are saying that the vaccine works. But we still need to wait for the results.]

Meanwhile, Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) director general Eric Domingo said the Russia-developed COVID-19 vaccine will still be under the review of the regulatory agency before approval for use in the country.

The Philippines has recorded 139,538 COVID-19 as of August 12. Of this number, 68,794 are active.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.