More than 1,000 Pinoys in UAE join Chinese firm’s COVID-19 vaccine trials

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MANILA, Philippines — At least 1,500 Filipinos currently have jobs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in Chinese company Sinpharm’s COVID-19 vaccine Phase 3 trial, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian reported.

The Chinese official said the participants are part of the 30,000 volunteers who joined the trials launched in the Gulf State back in June.

“Around 1500 Filipinos among more than 30,000 volunteers have participated in the phase-III clinical trial of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the United Arab Emirates since June 23, and that the above-mentioned trial is the world’s first phase-III clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine,” a statement from the Embassy said Wednesday, quoting Huang.

Apart from UAE, Huang said trials of the same vaccine are also ongoing in Bahrain, Argentina, Peru, and Morocco and more, involving some 50,000 volunteers.

“Relevant tests of Sinopharm’s vaccine against major COVID-19 virus strains, including those from Beijing Xinfadi as well as other regions of Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Austria, etc., showed promising results in both safety and efficacy,” the envoy assured.

Huang also expressed optimism that the vaccine will likely be on the market by the end of December.

Apart from Sinopharm’s vaccine, the Philippines is also considering those made by Russia, Taiwan, American biotech firm Moderna, and more.

The Chinese government had previously vowed to prioritize the Philippines once it develops a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Photo Credit: AP

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