Philippine-made vaccines can be possible with Virology Research Institute

Philippine-made vaccines
After funding the first Philippine-made COVID-19 test kit, DOST is now batting for a virology research institute to bring the country a step closer towards developing its own vaccines. Photo of Gen Amplify COVID 19 Test Kit from Sec. Fortunato de la Peña Facebook.

Philippine-made vaccines can be made possible once the proposed Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP) is made operational.

VIP is envisioned to be the premier research institute in the field of virology encompassing all areas in viruses and viral diseases in humans, plants, and animals.

It will conduct innovative scientific research on viral agents requiring high or maximum containment (biosafety level-2 to biosafety level-4) in accordance with the World Health Organization’s guidelines on the establishment of a virology laboratory in developing countries.

Research studies on viral agents will focus on vector/reservoir transmission, viral ecology, clinical virology, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, and host immune response to these viral pathogens.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) proposal for legislation to establish the research institute on virology was announced by DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.

Sec. de la Peña said that the institute may explore the following fields:

  • Enteric infections
  • Respiratory infections
  • CNS (Central Nervous System) infections
  • Viral infections in the immunocompromised host
  • antiviral and antimicrobial resistance
  • viral diversity
  • plant pathology
  • plant–virus interactions
  • major plant viruses

The Institute will be the venue for scientists, both here and abroad to work collaboratively to study viruses of agricultural, industrial, clinical, and environmental importance.

Having proper and safe facilities will eventually lead the country to have a better capacity to develop locally made therapeutics and vaccines.

“The development of vaccines requires very good research on viruses, particularly those that are circulating in our environment,” said Secretary de la Peña. “This will also require the establishment of a virus high containment laboratory for the study of viruses.”

The coronavirus pandemic has taught us many lessons and the possibility of another health emergency remains very high. Learning, understanding, and preparing for future microbial-viral outbreaks and pandemics are very vital to the future and health of Pinoys.

DOST has been innovating on various solutions to address the coronavirus pandemic, including a collaboration with the UP National Institutes of Health for the first Philippine-made COVID-19 test kit, collaborating with UP Manila and UP Diliman for the RxBox vital signs monitoring device, and partnering with FEU for an AI drone thermal scanner.

SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below to DOST and the team behind the proposal for the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines for this step towards developing Philippine-made vaccines.

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Eldan is an experienced online content writer who finds fulfillment in sharing the good side of the news to Filipinos.