Department of Science and Technology secretary Fortunato Dela Peña recently announces the IATF’s adoption of DOST recommendation for zoning on the WHO solidarity trials for vaccine candidate. (Photo by Henry A. De Leon, S&T Media Service)

In his weekly department update and report to the nation, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña revealed that the COVID-19 Interagency Task Force (IATF) has accepted DOST’s recommendation for zoning on the solidarity trials for the vaccine candidates against COVID-19 that will be conducted this year.

Secretary de la Peña explained that there should be no competition in terms of the trials to be conducted and all are working together to find a solution to the pandemic. 

The science chief added that there are eight trial zones where the vaccines will be tested. The eight zones will involve 13 hospitals in all. In the National Capital Region, there will be nine, namely: the Philippine General Hospital, Manila Doctors Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, St. Luke’s Medical Center- Quezon City, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, and St. Luke’s Medical Center–BGC.

Other hospitals identified are in the provinces, namely: Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City, De La Salle Health Sciences Institute in Cavite, and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

Secretary de la Peña added that the World Health Organization solidarity trials will start this October and expected to be completed by the second quarter of the following year.

He also confirmed that the Philippines is in agreement with five COVID- 19 vaccine developers that will enable clinical trial data sharing.

On the other hand, ventilators developed by groups of local developers are undergoing testing for its functionality at DOST’s Electronics Products Development Center.

“Iyan ang unang hakbang, kapag pumasa sila diyan through a third-party evaluation ay maaari na silang magsimula ng clinical trials involving humans at yan naman ay popondohan natin,” Secretary De la Peña said. Currently, there are three groups that are developing ventilators to help address the increased demand for it in hospitals due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DOST Report is a weekly broadcast of the Science and Technology Information Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-STII) highlighting the various initiatives and innovations of the DOST aired live every Friday through the DOSTv Facebook and Youtube channel.

By Joy M. Lazcano, S&T Media Service


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