The final sentence of this article is of great interest, bearing in mind the proven ability of the virus to mutate. https://cnnphilippines.com/news/202...-philippines-procurement-clinical-trials.html COVID-19 vaccines: Where is PH in the procurement, clinical trials? By Eimor Santos, CNN Philippines, Jan 9, 2021 A few points from this article: Authorities are in talks with around seven vaccine makers to secure 148 million doses, enough to inoculate up to 70 million people. Officially, no vaccine has been delivered yet to the country to date, but the World Health Organization said in a January 6 media briefing, the country is “on track” in preparing for the rollout. There are two ways vaccines could reach Filipinos. One is through procurement, which is being handled exclusively by the national government, although tripartite agreements can be entered into by the private sector and local government officials. The other is through phase 3 clinical trials. Here’s a rundown of where the Philippines now stands on the road to vaccination: In November 2020, the country sealed the deal for 2.6 million doses from UK's AstraZeneca through a private sector donation. These are expected to be delivered in June of this year, benefiting more than a million Filipinos, with healthcare workers and vulnerable sectors given priority. Half of the purchase will go to the government, while the other half will be used by the private sector, also for their frontliners. Over 200 companies are expected to pitch in for a second batch, which would complete the targeted 5 million vaccine doses. In another tripartite agreement, the Quezon City government purchased in advance 750,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccines for its constituents. Bacolod City said it has signed a "confidential" agreement with AstraZeneca - it has earmarked ₱300 million for the purchase of the vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration is still reviewing AstraZeneca’s application for emergency use authorization, which would fast track the rollout of its vaccine in the country. US firm Pfizer and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute are also seeking EUA. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. recently said the government is in the “advanced stages of negotiations” with Pfizer, Gamaleya, American pharmaceutical companies Novavax and Johnson and Johnson, and Chinese drugmaker Sinovac. The Duterte administration believes Sinovac would be the first to supply the Philippines with up to 25 million doses by March or April 2021. It has a pending application for clinical trials. The country will also receive "fully subsidized" COVID-19 vaccines for 22 million Filipinos through the COVAX facility, a global initiative led by the WHO along with the vaccine alliance Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to ensure equitable access to safe and effective coronavirus vaccines. An allegedly bungled deal with Pfizer, which boasts of a vaccine efficacy rate of 95%, would have ushered the arrival of 10 million doses this month - officials now estimate the supply to come in by mid-year. Two other US firms, Moderna and Arcturus expressed willingness to send 4 million to 25 million vaccine doses beginning the third quarter, but this has not been put in paper. Meanwhile, Filipinos could volunteer for clinical trials soon, after the FDA approved the applications of Janssen Pharmaceuticals Company, a US-based vaccine maker owned by Johnson & Johnson, and Clover Biopharmaceutical of China. These may start in the next few weeks after the vaccine experts panel identifies trial sites and participants are recruited. Aside from these independent initiatives, the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trial is slated for this month, but it remains unclear which vaccines it would test for efficacy. Galvez said it would enroll up to 15,000 volunteers, preferably from Metro Manila. The country remains under varying levels of community quarantine – all face-to-face classes suspended, business operations limited, and work-from-home setup encouraged. It is banking on the vaccination program to further open the economy, but health protocols should still be followed as it may take three to five years to inoculate enough people to achieve herd immunity.