Russia has offered its newly-registered vaccine against the coronavirus to the Philippines, and the country's President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly accepted the offer. Duterte said he is also willing to participate in human trials for the vaccine.
The vaccine has received regulatory approval and has become the world's first registered vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 virus. This annoucement was made today, 11 August by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a government meeting. He said that his daughter has also been given the vaccine.
Russia will provide the vaccines to the Philippines by either supplying it to the country, teaming up with a local company to produce it or via the participation of the Philippines in clinical trials. Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev told reporters, "The Russian side is ready to closely cooperate with Philippine partners in this field."
"We are ready to make necessary investments with our Philippine partners, and we are ready to share our technologies," he added.
According to a report by Bloomberg Quint, Duterte wants to boost relations with Russia and has agreed to conduct human trials in the country.
In a televised public announcement, Reuters reported that Duterte said "When the vaccine arrives, I will have myself injected in public. Experiment on me first, that's fine with me,"
"I will tell President (Vladimir) Putin that I have huge trust in your studies in combating COVID and I believe that the vaccine that you have produced is really good for humanity."
On Tuesday, 11 August, the Philippines reported 2,987 new coronavirus cases taking its tally of confirmed cases to 1,39,538, the highest in Southeast Asia, according to a Reuters report.
A health ministry bulletin also reported 19 more fatalities, bringing the country's death toll to 2,312.
The Russian vaccine has been produced by Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology along with the Russian Defence Ministry.
Phase 1 of the human trials of the vaccine were split into two parts and reportedly begun on 18 June. Sputnik News reports states that all 38 participants developed an immune response.
Production of the vaccine will begin in September and in October Russia is planning on conducting a mass vaccination campaign. The government said that the first doses will be given to frontline workers and teachers, free of charge.