Russian COVID-19 vaccine to be tested in Philippines

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The Philippines will start the third phase of clinical trials of the Russian coronavirus vaccine in October, local newspaper Inquirer reported citing presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

The report says that the vaccine trials will continue until the end of March 2021 and the vaccine must be approved by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration by April. Tens of thousands of patients will participate in the third phase of clinical trials.

Clinical trials will be funded by the Russian government, Roque said.

On August 11, the Russian Ministry of Health registered the world’s first coronavirus prevention vaccine COVID-19, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

On the same day, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte volunteered to be the first to test the Russian coronavirus vaccine. He asked the head of the Ministry of Health, Francisco Duque, to discuss with the Russian government the possible transfer of vaccine production technology.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said the fund is ready to conduct clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine in the Philippines. He said that the Philippines is one of Russia’s important coronavirus vaccine partners and that RDIF is ready to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines as early as August.