By Corina Oliquino

MANILA — In an interview with Dobol B sa News TV on January 16, the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Executive Director Jaime Montoya said the World Health Organization (WHO) will compensate participants of COVID-19 Solidarity Trial should they experience adverse reactions.

Montoya said the WHO will be using COVID-19 vaccines which have already gone through phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in other countries. 

“Kung may mangyari, minor or major, ito ay sasagutin ng WHO. Tutulungan ng WHO. Merong inalaang pondo para magamit sa mga volunteers,” Montoya said.

“Pero kailangan maipaliwanag sa mga magvo-volunteer sa Solidarity Trial ang detalye ng bakuna,” he added.

Montoya said they are looking for 15,000 volunteers to participate in the trial set to be conducted in Metro Manila by late January or February. 

The recruitment and registration of participants, from 18 to 59 years old or the same age bracket as the government mass vaccination program, will be handed by barangays chosen as trial sites.

“‘Yung pipiliing bakuna, ‘yun ang ibibigay ng WHO. Pinag-aaralan nila ‘yan kung ano ang posibleng bakuna na maaring gamitin at aprubahan. Pero kailangan nila ang mas maraming data para po ito ay eventually ma-aprubahan nila at sa iba’t ibang bansa,” Montoya said.

“Puwede ring completely new vaccine na may ibang paraan,”  Montoya added, with the WHO yet to identify which brand of COVID-19 vaccines will be used for the trial.

In another report by The Philippine Star, DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Peña said the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) has been tapped “to do the identification and recruitment of volunteers who will join the WHO Solidarity Trials.”

Dela Peña said that the UP-PGH project team will be led by Dr. Jodor Lim.

In another report by CNN Philippines, Montoya said, “We really need the support of as many people as possible especially itong ating mga  nurses.” He noted around 20 teams will be deployed for the program which will be composed of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and medical technologists.