Duterte confident China will be first to invent COVID-19 vaccine

Thursday night said he is confident that China would be among the first countries to create a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The President said China is already developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, and it could be available by 2020.

“Itong China hindi ito hambog [China is not arrogant]. Wala itong ere [They are humble]. But they… they you know, they work and I’m very sure that they will be the first one… one of the countries that would be able to come up with a vaccine,” Duterte said in a televised speech.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier revealed that SinoPharm Group, the biggest pharmaceutical company in China, invited the Philippines to join its global clinical trial for a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

“Meron na pong sulat sa atin ang China… nag-alok na isama tayo sa kanilang global clinical trial for their newly developed vaccine,” Duque said in a Senate hearing on COVID-19.

(China sent us a letter offering to include us in their global clinical trial for their newly developed vaccine.)

“Meron na po silang na-develop na vaccine e, pero ito po ay kinakailangang sumailalim sa mga para masiguro po ang safety and efficacy,” he added.

Also read: Unauthorized COVID-19 testing of 200 Chinese in Parañaque stopped

China COVID-19 vaccine trials

Duterte also reported to Congress that the Department of Science and Technology was coordinating with six Chinese and Taiwanese research groups and organizations for possible COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. 

He said the DOST had “exploratory talks for possible involvement in the clinical trials” with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and SinoPharm in China, Academia Sinica, the National Health Research Institute, Chang Gung University, and Adimmune Corporation in Taiwan.

GEN reported that “state-run agency Xinhua reported on April 25 that Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, part of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm Group) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, had advanced their COVID-19 vaccine candidate to a Phase II trial that began a day earlier.”

“The vaccine is being studied in randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled conducted in Jiaozuo, central China’s Henan Province. Sinopharm announced that 96 participants in three age groups had received the vaccine in Phase I as of April 23,” it added.

“The vaccine has shown good safety so far, and vaccine receivers are still under observation,” Xinhua reported.