Around 10,000 people from the Cavite province volunteered to participate in the clinical trials of two different vaccines against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla said in a Facebook post last August 13, 2020.
Said to have come from two pharmaceutical giants – one from the United States and the other from the United Kingdom – the developing vaccine shall undergo a Phase III field trial as part of the four-stage clinical vaccine research. This is a large-scale clinical trial performed in large populations designed to provide data on vaccine efficacy and safety formulations of the immunologically active components.
“Ang Cavite ay malapit na sumailalim sa Phase 3 field trial ng dalawang kilalang pharmaceutical giant[s]. Kasama sa pag-aaral ay ang mahigit sa 10,000 volunteer recipients ng experimental vaccine,” Remulla said.
However, the Cavite governor was not able to discuss in the post that the experimental trial will occur without identifying the two specific pharmaceutical companies. The formal signing of the agreement was still pending.
Remulla added that half of the volunteers shall receive the vaccine itself while the other 5,000 will be receiving placebos, or medicine that only provides more psychological benefits than physiological. He explained that placebos will have no therapeutic effect and that it is a standard protocol in all clinical trials conducted worldwide.
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Remulla also expressed, in the same Facebook post, his opinion on Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s deal with Russia regarding the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in coordination with Russia’s defense ministry.
“As far as I know, the Russian data is UNAVAILABLE; their methodology is NOT open; and its efficacy has not been subject to a review and analysis,” said Remulla.
He even defended that he has nothing against the Russians nor is he connected to any vaccine developers from other countries. He added that his primary interest is to safeguard the health and safety of his constituents in Cavite as the provincial governor.
Furthermore, Remulla prodded the Department of Health (DOH) to exercise caution and proper handling of the process of review, approval and appropriation of the COVID-19 vaccine instead of immediately receiving it.
“There is no bigger decision than choosing a clinically tested and effective vaccine, at the correct time, at the fair price. 110 million lives are at stake. The Filipino people are counting on you,” Remulla said.
Meanwhile, DOH regional director in Calabarzon Dr. Eduardo Janairo said that local governments need prior clearances from agencies like the Department of Science and Technology before taking part in clinical trials. Janairo iterated that the clinical trials need a lot of requisites, for instance, the province’s coordination with DOH in selecting which hospitals will administer the trial vaccine. [P]
Photo from Inquirer.net