Medicine DOH eyes vaccine institute at RITMBlau Medical News
DOH eyes vaccine institute at RITM
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) – August 16, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is looking at having the proposed Vaccine Institute at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa to boost local development of vaccines in the country.
According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, there have been initiatives in the past to put up a Vaccine Institute at RITM but it “did not move forward.”
But she said that to capacitate the country for possible “technology transfer” of vaccines currently being developed against COVID-19, the sub-Technical Working Group (sub-TWG) on Vaccines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases is looking at a public-private-partnership to put up the vaccine institute.
“The least that we can do now is to fill and finish. Like we can negotiate with local manufacturers or distributors of vaccines in whole and then put them in vials,” she noted.
Vergeire added that the Asian Development Bank has a grant to help the RITM put up the facility but a feasiblity study is still being conducted.
Currenty, the sub-TWG, led by the Department of Science and Technology, is negotiating with 16 foreign vaccine manufacturers for the possibility of the Philippines getting its hands on the vaccines that are currently being developed.
Aside from this, the country is also part of the GAVI COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) facility, a mechanism that was designed to guarantee “rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.”
Under COVAX, nine vaccines will be undergoing clinical trials.