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Philippine President Duterte may receive a coronavirus vaccine from Russia next May



Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on June 1, 2017.

Noel Celis | AFP | beautiful images

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is likely to be vaccinated with the Russian coronavirus vaccine as early as May 2021, according to an official government source citing a presidential spokesman on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Mr. Duterte volunteered to participate in Russian vaccine trials, even as scientists and medical experts question the drug̵

7;s safety and effectiveness.

Russia announced on Tuesday it had registered the world’s first vaccine for a rapidly spreading coronavirus, or Covid-19, after less than two months of clinical trials. Data for these trials have not been published.

The Philippines is one of the few countries that will participate in a more extensive “phase three” trial of the vaccine. The Philippine news agency, the government’s official news agency, reported that the country intends to begin the tests in October.

Third-stage trials are considered by health professionals to be critical to any vaccine development and are needed to address any potential side effects. Such trials, often randomizing who were vaccinated and who were not, can attract thousands of participants.

The Philippines last week overtook Indonesia to report the highest cumulative coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University show. As of Thursday afternoon, the country had reported 143,749 cases and 2,404 deaths, according to Hopkins data.

Last month, Mr. Duterte begged China to give priority to his country when it develops vaccines, according to Reuters.

J. Stephen Morrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” channel on Wednesday that it was no surprise that Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to give Duterte a Russian vaccine.

Morrison is a senior vice president at CSIS and the director of think tank’s Center for Global Health Policy.

“Putin is also addressing concerns in lower and lower middle-income countries that rich countries are locking all supplies of vaccines from other major stores and they will be left behind. back of the queue with long, lingering and very dangerous delays, “he said.

– Berkeley Lovelace Jr. CNBC’s contribution to this report.


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