Philippine President Duterte can inject Russian coronavirus vaccine until May

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

Noel Celis | AFP | Getty Images

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte could thus be injected with the coronavirus vaccine from Russia in May 2021, according to the official news source of the government, which quoted the president on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Duterte volunteered to participate in trials for the Russian vaccine, even when scientists and health experts questioned the safety and effectiveness of the drug.

Russia announced on Tuesday that it had registered the first vaccine in the world for the rapidly spreading coronavirus disease, like Covid-19, after less than two months of clinical trials. Data from those trials have not been published.

The Philippines is among a handful of countries that will participate in a more comprehensive “phase three” vaccine test. Philippine News Agency, the official news source of the government, reported that the country intends to start these trials in October.

Phase three tears are considered by medical experts to be critical for any vaccine development and are necessary to eradicate all possible side effects. Such trials, which typically randomize who receives the vaccine and who does not, can involve thousands of participants.

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

Duterte pleaded last month against China to make his country a priority because it is developing a vaccine, Reuters reported.

J. Stephen Morrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Wednesday that it’s no surprise that Russian President Vladimir Putin is offering Russia’s fax to Duterte.

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

“Putin is also playing on the fear within lower-income and lower-middle-income countries that the rich countries are shutting down all supplies of faxes coming from these other major stores, and that they will remain at the back of the queue. with long, long and very damaging delays, “he said.

CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.