Russia to share Covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available: Malacañang

Malacañang on Tuesday expressed confidence that Russia would share its potential vaccine against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) once it becomes available.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after a Russian institute developing a potential Covid-19 vaccine announced that it expects to start its final stage testing in a small section of the general public in mid-August.

“I hope it’s true kasi alam niyo naman po na hindi mababalik sa normal ang buhay natin kung walang vaccine (because you know our life won’t go back to normal until we have a vaccine),” Roque said in a virtual Palace briefing.

Roque said he expects the Philippines to be one of the countries to benefit from Russia’s potential Covid-19 vaccine given President Rodrigo Duterte’s independent foreign policy of being “friend to all, enemy to none.”

“Dahil naman po sa bagong polisya ng Presidente natin na independent foreign policy kung saan kaibigan tayo ng lahat at kalaban ng walang kahit sinong bansa, inaasahan natin na kung meron mang vaccine madevelop ang Russians e ise-share po nila ‘yan sa’tin (Because of the President’s independent foreign policy where we are friends to all, and enemy to none, we expect that Russia will share their vaccine once it is developed),” he said.

Earlier, Roque assured that the government would provide free vaccines to the disadvantaged once it is available.

Reports showed that early results from the first small-scale human trial of the vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow have shown it to be safe for use.

Human trials began on June 18, with nine volunteers receiving one dose, and another nine testing the prospective booster dose.

The group did not experience any significant side effects and is due to be released from hospital.

Last month, Duterte himself said he was “happy” to learn that many countries have made significant progress in the development of a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

There is currently no cure or vaccine for Covid-19. However, clinical trials are reportedly ongoing to determine the safety and effectiveness of new and existing drugs, such as anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-malarial agents, in treating Covid-19 patients.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners earlier launched the “Solidarity Trial”, an international clinical trial, to help find an effective treatment for Covid-19.

The Philippines’ participation in the WHO Solidarity Trial has been approved by the Single Joint Research Ethics Board in support of the Covid-19 global response. (PNA)

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