The government will conduct separate trials to verify pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s claim of its vaccines being 90-percent effective, the Department of Science and Technology said on Tuesday.

“Kung sila (Pfizer) ay magsasagawa ng clinical trials dito sa atin eh dadaan sigurado sa ating vaccine expert panel iyong kanilang datos na na-gather at doon mabi-verify,” Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Pfizer on Monday announced that its vaccine was found to be “more than 90-percent effective in preventing Covid-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.”

De la Peña said the Philippines wouldn’t rush to purchase Pfizer’s vaccines as the company’s trials were done overseas.

“Kasi iyong 90 percent na in-announce nila eh sila ang nag-announce, hindi naman natin pa alam ang detalye, hindi natin alam iyong data na nagsusuporta diyan. Kung magkakaroon ng trials dito, doon natin mabi-verify,” he added.

However, de la Peña said it would be possible for Pfizer to bypass clinical trials in the country by reaching out directly to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have its vaccine data analyzed.

“Ang aming usapan din ay iri-refer din ng FDA sa vaccine expert panel para i-analyze iyong kanilang data na isa-submit [ng Pfizer] sa FDA – not necessarily for clinical trials but for evaluation of the data they have gathered during their trials. In particular, kailangan kasama na iyong Phase 3 trials data nila kung hindi sila magsasagawa dito ng Phase 3 trials. Kung 90 percent at mapatunayan iyan dito sa mga datos na maga-gather, ang tingin ko mataas iyon,” he explained.

Pfizer’s vaccine was developed alongside BioNTech, a German biotechnology company.

According to Pfizer’s press release, the companies expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. John Ezekiel J. Hirro