The Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said that it has ongoing engagements with 23 vaccine developers with four undergoing various stages of review and evaluation for their clinical trial application in the country.

This was according to DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña in his weekly report on Friday. He said that the task group reported this during the first Vaccine Cluster Meeting chaired by National Action Plan (NAP) Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez, Jr.

In addition, the Task Group updated the Cluster on early discussions on the requirements and strategies to enable local pharmaceutical industries to venture into vaccine manufacturing.

The Task Group also provided an update on the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Vaccine Trial where the Philippines will participate.

“Further details are classified as confidential as of the moment and are to be finalized by the WHO headquarters together with the WHO Country Office in the Philippines, and the WHO Solidarity Vaccine Trial Team,” DOST said.

It added that the vaccine cluster meeting was convened to present the updates from the different Task Groups under the Philippine National Vaccine Roadmap of the National Task Force against COVID-19.

Part of the discussions during the 1st Vaccine Cluster Meeting was regarding the Vaccine Logistics Summit that was held last December 16. The Logistics Summit will try to address the following concerns with regards to the vaccine deployment: distribution and supplies of vaccines; communication and public uptake; administration and mobilization.

Meanwhile, Sinovac, Janssen, and Clover have submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) their requirements for clinical trial application. All three vaccines have received clearance from the Vaccine Expert Panel.

Sinovac is still waiting for clearance from the Ethics Review Board after they responded on December 15, 2020 to the inquiries of the Ethics Board. They also submitted to the FDA on December 17 their lacking documentary requirements. 

However, for the application of Janssen, FDA is still waiting for their local Contract Research Organization to complete the initial requirement for the filing of regulatory review, before they start the review process.

Source: Manila Bulletin (