Philippines plans Russian coronavirus vaccine clinical trials in October

The Philippines is looking to start clinical trials for a Russian coronavirus vaccine in October, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said on Thursday.

Duterte is expected to be vaccinated as early as May 2021. The Southeast Asian country is set to run phase three clinical trials from October to March 2021, after experts complete a review on Russia’s phase one and two trials in September, Harry Roque, Duterte’s spokesman, said at a briefing.

Russia on Tuesday granted regulatory approval for the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing.

The vaccine, to be named “Sputnik V” in honor of the Soviet Union’s launch of the world’s first satellite,  was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute.

Philippine officials assured the public that the vaccine would have to go through a strict regulatory screening before it can be used.

Director general of the Food and Drug Administration Eric Domingo said the Manila government will be “very careful” in approving the Sputnik V vaccine.

“We have to make sure before we roll out a vaccine that it’s safe and effective,” he said in a television interview.

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