Phase 3 clinical trials of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine will be held in the Philippines from October to March, Philippine presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday. The spokesperson added, as cited by the Inquirer newspaper, that the Russian government would fund the trials, which usually envisage vaccinating thousands of patients to test its efficiency and safety.
Phase 3 trials would be carried out by Russia and the Philippines during the same period, according to Roque.
The spokesperson said that Manila expects the Philippines' Food and Drug Administration to approve the Russian-made vaccine by April 2021.
The vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research institute, was named Sputnik V and registered on Tuesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin endorsed the vaccine, saying it has passed all necessary checks.
Manila was one of the first to express interest in Sputnik V and readiness to cooperate with Moscow on clinical trials and production, while Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has even volunteered to take the inoculation in public.