In an online presser, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said 25 COVID-19 vaccine developers from 10 countries were in talks with the DOST.
Of the 25, six are from China, another six from the United States. Three developers are from Taiwan, two each are from Russia, Australia, and Germany.
India, Japan, UK, and Canada have one developer each in talks with the Philippines.
“Out of these, there are already 12 that have signed confidentiality disclosure agreements,” Dela Peña said.
“For those who have signed confidentiality disclosure agreements, they will now be required to send their data for the evaluation of our vaccine expert panel and also the evaluation by the health research ethics board,” he added.
So far, the Philippine government approved clinical trials for the vaccines developed by Jansen, Clover, and Sinovac.
The target cities for the clinical trial were:
San Pablo and Cabuyao, Laguna; Makati City, La Pa, Iloilo; Bacolod City; and Metro Manila for Janssen;
Quezon City, Makati City, Manila City, Taguig City, Las Piñas City, Muntinlupa City; Calamba, Laguna; and Dasmariñas, Cavite for Clover; and
Quezon City, Marikina City, Pasay City, and Alaminos, Laguna for Sinovac.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are working to secure halal certification for their products, Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo said.
The Bangsamoro Region leaders earlier said the COVID-19 vaccine should have halal certification.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos defines “halal” in Arabic to mean “permissible” and refers to food and non-food products that are lawful for consumption.
Also, based on Shari’ah law, the concept covers other transactions including banking, finance and other activities Islam believers are engaged in.
“We have asked for that information sa ating mga applicant (from our applicants),” Domingo said during the Laging Handa briefing.
“Pfizer–BioNTech, they are working on Halal certification. AstraZeneca, (they have) certification (with no) animal product or animal source (on their vaccines), but they are still working on their Halal certification,” Domingo added.
AstraZeneca, for its part, was found to have a 70 percent efficacy rate after the first dose—a rating that goes higher depending on the interval of giving the second dose—after FDA scrutiny.
Other COVID-19 vaccine makers with pending EUA application before FDA include Sinovac, Gamaleya, and Bharat BioTech.
Domingo said that only Sinovac has secured halal certification so far but the FDA is not yet done reviewing the results of its human trials, which the Chinese company only submitted last January 19.
Sinovac’s efficacy rate after human trials abroad, however, vary from 50 percent to 91 percent.
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