By Mark Angelo Mañez


The local clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine of Janssen Pharmaceuticals have started, an official from the Department of Science and Technology confirmed on Friday.

The trial proper covers patient screening, recruitment, and the vaccination itself, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said in a media forum.

Guevara did not divulge further details, saying data such as the number of participants can only be revealed by the product developer.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals earlier identified trial sites in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Western Visayas.

The Janssen vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for local clinical trials last year. It was developed by the Belgium-based firm Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is owned by the U.S. multinational company Johnson & Johnson.

Meanwhile, Guevara said preparations are ongoing for the clinical trial sites of Chinese companies Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Sinovac Biotech.