BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Janssen, owned by the American Company Johnson & Johnson (J&J), is planning to extend its vaccine clinical trial in Bacolod City until next month.
It has already vaccinated several individuals in Bacolod City in its ongoing clinical trial for a vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019.
But Dr. Adonis Guancia, principal investigator of J&J’s clinical trial, told the DAILY STAR that he could not give the exact number of individuals who participated in the trial, adding that the Food and Drug Administration allowed the company to share only a few details of the trial.
What is certain, Guancia said, is that they have not encountered any problems, so far.
He added that they hope to recruit additional volunteers so they could help more people in Bacolod.
J&J earlier announced that it is looking for 500 volunteers to participate in the trial that is now in its third phase.
Guancia had said that they will accept volunteers with high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes, among others, as long as they are 40 years old and above.
He reiterated that their vaccines are safe, considering that the firm has a good track record of having developed vaccines for different diseases, like Ebola and the earlier variants of SarsCov.
The Riverside Medical Center Inc. was chosen as site for the clinical trial in Bacolod.
Janssen is also conducting trials in La Paz District in Iloilo, Metro Manila, and Cabuyao and San Pablo cities in Laguna.
Earlier, Emergency Operations Center executive director, Em Ang, said that since Bacolod is one of the testing areas of J&J, the company assured them that the city will be prioritized when the vaccine is available.
Meanwhile, the EOC has already finalized the list of manpower for the vaccine rollout in Bacolod, Ang said.
The list was made by acting city health officer, Dr. Edwin Miraflor, and Dr. Anna Maria Laarni Pornan of the EOC, and includes health workers from private hospitals, she said.
Ang added that the RMCI, through its medical director, Dr. Maria Antonia Gensoli, has committed to provide personnel to help in the vaccination rollout. Mayor Evelio Leonardia has also ordered the CoVac Council to set up a vaccination operations center and prepare the supplies and equipment needed for Bacolod’s mass vaccination program.*