FIVE HOSPITALS will join the clinical trial for the vaccine against coronavirus developed by China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd., according to the Department of Health (DoH).

Four of the hospitals are state-owned — Philippine General Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and the Vicente Sotto Medical Center — while one is private, the Manila Doctors Hospital.

“Itong Sinovac ngayon nasa Phase 2 siya and I think they have started already their Phase 3, and meron na ring ganitong isinasagawa sa ibang bansa katulad ng Brazil (Sinovac is in Phase 2 and I think they have already started their Phase 3 and there are also trials conducted in other countries like Brazil),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said in an online briefing on Monday.

The corresponding manufacturing company in the Philippines is already processing applications for the Phase 3 clinical trial study and has filed the confidentiality disclosure agreement. “Pinagaaralan na ngayon ng ating (This is being studied now by our) vaccine experts panel. We will provide additional information once everything is finalized,” Ms. Vergeire said.

The Philippines will also be participating in clinical trials for other vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including the Russian-developed Sputnik V and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility.

The government is also in talks to join the solidarity trial for vaccines led by the World Health Organization (WHO). — Vann Marlo M. Villegas