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Philippines starts trials of Russian COVID-19 vaccine in October

Southeast Asian hot spot eager to secure free supply from Moscow

A woman and a child queue for free coronavirus disease  swab testing in Manila.   © Reuters

MANILA -- The Philippines begins clinical trials in October of a Russian-developed COVID-19 vaccine that Moscow says is the first in the world approved to prevent the disease, a government spokesperson said Thursday.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who this week volunteered to test the vaccine on himself, intends to take the inoculation as soon as May of next year, spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters.

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