AstraZeneca withdraws bid for COVID-19 vaccine trials in Philippines

MANILA, Dec 12 (Mabuhay) — British pharmaceutical firm AstraZenecahas withdrawn its application to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines for its vaccine against COVID-19, Food and Drug Administration director general Dr. Eric Domingo said on Friday.

Domingo said AstraZeneca indicated that it already had sufficient data to see the efficacy of its vaccine.

Domingo, however, clarified that AstraZeneca may still supply vaccines in the Philippines once it gets a green light from the FDA.

In late November, the Department of Health said AstraZeneca would continue clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines after it registered impressive results in the United Kingdom.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said it was best that COVID-19 vaccines manufactured abroad conduct clinical trials in the country.

She said this would show how safe and effective the vaccine is for the Philippine population which is now at least 110 million.

AstraZeneca-Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine has been found 70% effective against COVID-19 at first half dose, but it increases to 90% after the second full dose is administered.

Likewise, AstraZeneca’s price range is cheaper at $3 to $4 compared with American firms Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech which COVID-19 vaccines proved also over 90% effective cost more due to the requirement of an ultra low freezer storage. (MNS)

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