Russia ready to supply PH with ‘effective, safe’ COVID-19 vaccines — envoy
MANILA, Philippines — Russia expressed readiness to supply the Philippines with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, its envoy in Manila said Friday, adding that results of the trials are turning out “very promising.”
“The Russian side is ready to closely cooperate with the Philippine partners in this field,” Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev told reporters in an online press briefing.
According to the ambassador, proposals for the clinical trials as well as the production of the vaccine in the Philippines have already been submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and [are] now “under consideration.”
“We have three options for cooperations. First, clinical trials, if our Philippine partners consider it necessary. The second option: We are ready to supply the vaccine to the Philippines. The third option is local production of vaccines here on Philippine soil,” Khovaev said.
“It means that we are ready to combine our efforts, we are ready to make necessary investments together with our Philippine partners and we are ready to share our technologies simply because we want to build a robust partnership between our two nations,” he added.
Russia is now only waiting for an official from the Philippine government, he said.
“We don’t make promises. We make suggestions. Suggestions based on what we already have, we have already done…Our offer is under consideration for our Philippine partners so we are waiting for the feedback,” he added.
Khovaev also gave assurances that the vaccine being developed by Russia is “effective and safe.”
He said the vaccine was tested on several volunteers and Russian scientists, all of whom have “healed well,” the envoy said.
“All of them were tested on these vaccines and all of them feel well,” he added.
“So, according to the analysis of our scientists, the results of the trials are very promising, very positive…The vaccine is effective and safe,” he further said.
Moreover, Khovaev said his government is willing to comply with any necessary vaccine distribution procedure imposed by the Philippine government should Manila accept Russia’s offer.
“We fully understand that you Filipinos have your own procedures in this field and all these procedures should be complied with. Of course, we comply with all domestic procedures in the Philippines,” he added.
According to Khovaev, around 20 countries have already confirmed their interest to “closely cooperate” with Russia in terms of the COVID-19 vaccine.
When asked about the status of Russia’s offer to the Philippines, the DFA said the proposals have already been referred to the appropriate agencies “for proper assessment and evaluation.”
“The DFA conveys its appreciation for Russia’s willingness to assist the Philippines in its fight against COVID-19, as well as its offer to supply the SARS-COV-2 vaccine developed by N.F. Gamaleya of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation,” the DFA said in a message to reporters.
The Philippine government has already reached out to various COVID-19 vaccine developers from the United States, Taiwan, China, and the United Kingdom for possible purchase once vaccines have been found and become available.
Over 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines are currently in development worldwide.
Earlier, Russia said it aims to launch mass production of a COVID-19 vaccine in September and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.
But after Moscow announced plans to start swiftly producing COVID-19 jabs, the World Health Organization urged the said country to follow the established guidelines for producing safe and effective vaccines. (With reports from Reuters)
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