Russia's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine might be available in the Philippines as early as November or December this year after its large-scale human testing here, the head of the organization funding the drug's development said on Friday.
The state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) can "sponsor and organize" the clinical trials of 500 to 1,000 people in the Philippines "as early as August or maybe even early September," said its CEO Kirill Dmitriev.
"If we work very closely with your regulators, if we work very closely with your health minister, we can actually make the vaccine available to the Philippines as early as November or early December," Dmitriev said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News' Karen Davila.
Philippine authorities on Friday are expected to receive the RDIF's data on the first stages of trial for the vaccine called "Sputnik V" after the pioneering Soviet satellite of the 1950s.
The Philippines, currently struggling to contain the virus, has accepted Russia's offer to participate in production of the vaccine.
The Philippines has logged the highest number of confirmed infections in Southeast Asia with more than 147,500 cases and over 2,400 deaths as of Thursday afternoon.