The Adventist Hospital Palawan (AHP) is participating in a Phase 3 trial of a new anti-coronavirus vaccine manufactured in China and is looking for 500 local residents interested to join.

Participants who are willing to participate must be healthy and free of comorbidities, according to the organizers. They will also go through health tests and be carefully monitored after each dosage. Like other vaccines already in use, the new vaccine will be administered in two doses.

Dr. Lorraine Chua, who is leading the trial for AHP, said that participants will also receive P2,500 as compensation.

She said the vaccine has already passed Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, which are both conducted on humans and have yielded promising results.

“Hindi ito basta-basta, kaya rigorous ang magiging screening sa kanila. Kung papasa sila at mae-enroll sa study, mayroon silang five visits sa amin. After one year, after ng kanilang second dose, iche-check ulit sila,” Chua told Palawan News.

“Wala itong assurance [na walang side effects]. Lahat naman ng vaccine, kahit ‘yong nasa Phase 4, may side effects ‘yan. Walang 100% na walang side effects,” she added.

According to AHP Chief of Operations Dr. Ian Kenneth Bermeo, the clinical trial is a milestone for the hospital in its efforts to further strengthen vaccination efforts in the country. He added that hopefully, there will be enough participants in the study to produce so the vaccine’s efficacy may be verified.

Chua said the Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products, Co. (BIOKANGTAI) is the main manufacturer of the vaccine, though it is yet to be named. The company’s website also states that it received clearance from the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the country in late July.

She said that the Philippines is among nine countries that are taking part in the research. The experiment would take place at 12 locations throughout the country, with the AHP in charge of efforts in Palawan.

Chua said that if the new vaccine is approved, it would be scheduled for global distribution in order to address vaccine shortages.

“Hindi kaya ng isa, dalawa, tatlo, o apat na companies lang na mag-produce ng pangangailangan ng buong mundo para ma-achieve ang herd immunity. Even now, nakikita natin may shortage, tulad sa Sputnik, kung mas maraming vaccine developers ang makakapag-produce ng mas maraming bakuna, ‘yon ang mas maigi,” she said.

Interested participants may contact 0968-545-5427 or 0916-294-0204 for more information if they wish to join the program.