PH only waiting for WHO’s signal to start COVID-19 vaccine trials

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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gives an update regarding the new cases of COVID 19 in the country during a press conference at the DOH Headquarters in Manila on Saturday, March 7. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are ready to go, said the Department of Health, adding that it is only waiting for the World Health Organization to initiate the so-called Solidarity Trial.

“We are finalizing our preparatory activities already. So that when WHO signals na mag-uumpisa na po tayo (that we start) we are already ready for these trials,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a press briefing.

“Clinical trial sites in the Philippines have also been identified. Together with WHO ‘yan. Pinag-aralan po. May criteria tayong isinet kung anong mga sites ang isasama natin for this clinical trial process,” she added.

[Clinical trial sites in the Philippines have also been identified, together with the WHO. This was studied. There are criteria set to determine which sites will be included in the clinical trial process.]

The DOH also said they are already engaging local government units which will be their partners for the trials. This includes memoranda of agreement between the LGUs and involved government agencies.

“Para nakasaad d’yan (sa MOA) kung ano ang mga responsibilidad ng bawat ahensya as well as for the LGUs as well.”

[Stated there in the MOA are the responsibilities of the agencies and the LGUs as well.]

While earlier reports said a COVID-19 vaccine might be available by mid-2021, the WHO said it might come as late as the end of next year.

DOTr: NAIA privatization doable in 2024

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Spread the loveMANILA — The privatization of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) may be implemented by the first quarter of 2024, according