The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases organised by the executive of the Philippine Government has approved the recommendations for Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials.

The approval on vaccine development was given in a resolution on the conduct of trials of the sub-technical working group (TWG) led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, in a briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, said the sub-TWG was assisted by the Vaccine Expert Panel.

As per the recommendations, the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial will be given priority in sites where clinical trials take place.

De la Peña said that the independent clinical trials will be conducted by companies, and the other one is the WHO Solidarity Trial.

The WHO will be prioritised in case of any competition in a trial site, but authorities will make sure the companies will not be deprived of the sites, De la Peña added.

Subjects for the WHO Solidarity Trial will be recruited from the top 5 to 10 barangays reporting high Covid-19 cases.

De la Peña further added: “Transient residents are discouraged unless they can prove they will stay there for another two years because we need to monitor them.”

The recommendations also state that trial zones will be assigned to independent trials to make sure there will be no competition in recruiting participants.

As agreed by the DOST and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), local government units (LGUs) will involve in the vaccine clinical trials.

Additionally, barangay volunteers and mobile phones will be used for follow-ups.

The IATF said that the DOH will be responsible for deciding the vaccine and the number of doses to be procured.