Clinical trials for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines from Sinovac, Janssen and Clover need to be scheduled as the government is currently looking for sites to hold the activity. 

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the clarification three days after Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Rowena Guevarra mentioned that the three vaccine makers have a list already of clinical trial sites, including Laguna, Metro Manila, Iloilo, Cavite and Bacolod City.

Vergeire explained that the DOST is still discussing with the vaccine makers’ partner contract research organizations (CROs) in the Philippines to make sure that the chosen sites for clinical trials will not duplicate the areas dedicated for the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

“The CROs have the responsibility to recruit and manage, together with the proponents, these clinical trials. Hindi pa nakakapagbigay ng list ang CROs dahil pinag-uusapan at pinag-aaralan pa [kung saan],” Vergeire said in an online forum.

“Nakapagbigay ang Sinovac pero ibinalik kasi kapareho siya ng sites ng WHO Solidarity Trial. The IATF has endorsed the WHO Solidarity Trial at ito ang susuportahan ng gobyerno, kaya this should take precedence over other trials. There cannot be a duplication,” she added.

Vergeire added that CROs of vaccine makers are being discussed which areas will be reserved for WHO Solidarity Trial. The said trial has yet to be scheduled. 

The start of the WHO Solidarity Trial will be revealed by WHO, according to the DOH. Ronald dela Cruz