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Philippines eyes local vaccine manufacturing in 2022

By Melrose Juanites Calubag Published Sep 22, 2021 5:37 pm

The Philippine government has started to plan vaccine manufacturing in the country for 2022.

During an interview on PTV News, FDA Director General Eric Domingo, the project will be headed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Start pa lamang ng taon, sinabi na ni president yan na gusto nya magkaroon tayo ng vaccine manufacturing dito sa Pilipinas. Kaya naman po gumawa ng task group dyan pinangungunahan po ng DOST, kasama po ang DTI, DOH at FDA para makahanap po tayo ng mga partners na mga vaccine manufacturers,” Domingo said.

For the partnership negotiations between involved agencies and other companies, Domingo said that there are already companies eyeing local vaccine manufacturing in the country.

“There are several companies that are being looked into now both overseas tapos and local partners din.”

During the weekly briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte on Sept 20, Domingo said that the DOH, DTI, and DOST are in talks with several foreign manufacturers in Cuba, China, and Russia for possible “technology transfer.”

“Our plan by next year is to have ‘fill and finish’—meaning the bulk product will be brought here in the Philippines and then we will repackage that in small vials, ampules, or syringes.”

Meanwhile, the production of other kinds of vaccines is slated to begin in 2023. “The year after that, we aim to manufacture different kinds of vaccines here.”

Domingo also warned the public that no nasal spray has been proven to prevent COVID-19. He said nasal sprays are just “panlinis ng ilong, pambigay ng kaunting proteksyon, pero sa panandaliang panahon lamang po ‘yon. At hindi pa naman po sila talaga maaaring gamitin as pampalit sa gamot o bakuna kontra COVID. Wala pa pong COVID vaccine na nasal spray na pinapayagan sa Pilipinas o kahit saan pong parte ng mundo.”

He also advised the public to report sellers so the FDA can apprehend them.

Thumbnail photo by Forsa; banner photo by Forsa and Philippine Star