THE Philippines will join various clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines worldwide to ensure it will get prioritized for supplies once a vaccine is found.

Participating in the trials would also speed up a drug’s registration with the local Food and Drug Administration, Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, told an online news briefing on Wednesday.

He said the Philippines would join the solidarity trials for vaccines led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We will join the solidarity trial for vaccines supervised by the WHO,” Mr. Montoya said.

Nina Gloriani, a professor from the University of the Philippines Manila College of Public Health, said the government had approved the collaboration for vaccine trials involving five drugs.

Three of these were being developed by the Chinese Academy of Science Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health; Sinopharm: Wuhan Institute and Beijing Biologicals Institute; and SINOVAC Biotech Ltd.

The other two were being developed by Adimmune Corp. and Academia Sinica in Taiwan, she said.

Out of about 20 vaccines under clinical trial, eight have better results than others, including the other two from China considered for clinical trial in the country, Ms Gloriani said. More than 100 were in the preclinical evaluation stage, she added.

Meanwhile, DoH (Department of Health) warned hospitals that reject patients showing mild or no coronavirus symptoms.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said hospitals must treat these patients first before referring them to temporary treatment facilities.

The call was more directed at private hospitals, where some patients had only been admitted because their personal physicians were from these hospitals, she said.

Of the more than 46,000 COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases as of July 6, 93.7% or 30,787 were mild, while 5.5% or 1,813 did not show symptoms, according to DoH data. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas