Cebu is one of the eight areas in the country being eyed as zones for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine clinical trials, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced on Thursday.
In a televised briefing, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said six participating barangays will be in Metro Manila while Calabarzon (Region IV-A) and Cebu will have one each.
“Ang pinipili kasing lugar ay yung mataas ang incidence ng (of) Covid-19. So yung mga barangay na naroroon o malapit doon (The areas chosen was based on villages with high incidence or near the areas with high Covid-19 cases), usually it will require five to 10 barangays for a trial,” the DOST chief said.
These zones, de la Peña said, will be prioritized for the World Health Organization (WHO)-led solidarity trials where some 1,000 volunteers are expected to join.
The DOST earlier said that clinical trials for various Covid-19 vaccines will probably start by the fourth quarter of 2020.
The official also said the recommendation to conduct these clinical trials has already been approved by the national government’s anti-coronavirus task force.
Vaccine recipients participating in the WHO solidarity trial shall be recruited from the Top 5-10 barangays reporting high Covid-19 cases, based on the attack rates per 1,000 population of each village.
The trial sites will be at the barangay level, he said.
Meanwhile, de la Peña said the sub-technical working group on vaccine development also proposed the creation of sub-TWG for vaccine procurement, which will be led by the Department of Budget and Management.
Based on the Inter-Agency Task Force’s resolution, the Department of Health (DOH) will decide what vaccine and number of doses would be procured.
Source: Philippines News Agency