Despite all the hype that Russian vaccine Sputnik V has attracted (with some coming from President Rodrigo Duterte), it appears that its maker has yet to apply for a permit to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said today in an interview with cable channel ANC that they are still waiting for its manufacturer Gamaleya to provide the government with additional data.
“[They have] not yet [applied for a permit]. The Sputnik V, the vaccine from Russia, we are in close coordination with them. They have provided us initial documents for evaluation of our vaccine panel experts that we were able to review, and we have already provided our response on the results of the initial evaluation of our vaccine experts panel,” Vergeire said.
“We are just waiting for them to provide us with additional information so that the vaccine experts panel of the Philippines can complete their evaluation,” she added.
Not a single clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine has started in the Philippines but Vergeire said that if everything goes smoothly, the Sputnik V could start theirs sometime next month.
Sputnik V has attracted much attention (and controversy) with scientists fearing that Moscow has cut corners in its development, making it ineffective or worse, unsafe. But that doesn’t seem to worry Duterte who bragged in a public speech that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had promised to give the Philippines free vials of the experimental coronavirus vax. Duterte even said that he was willing to join the trials but it turns out that, at 75 years old, he is too old to participate.
The vaccine’s financier said in August that Sputnik V will be available in the Philippines in November or December and claimed that they witnessed “no side effects” when it was tested.
This article, Sputnik V Sputters: Russian vax yet to apply permit for PH clinical trials, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.