PH’s ‘interim analysis' on safety, efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine mixing, matching may be out by September, October

Published July 11, 2021, 11:38 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) vaccine expert panel (VEP) said Sunday, July 11, the interim analysis of the country’s study on the safety and efficacy of mixing and matching five coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines may be out by September or October this year.

This handout picture taken on August 6, 2020 and provided by the Russian Direct Investment Fund shows the vaccine against the coronavirus disease, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. (Photo by Handout / Russian Direct Investment Fund / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

VEP head Dr Nina Gloriani assured the public that the panel is studying the studies abroad on the safety and immunogenicity of interchanging vaccine brands, citing that there were results on mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs.

“Hindi pa natin papayagan yun, pero pinag-aaralan namin halos linggo linggo, inaaral namin ang resulta sa ibang countries. Of course, gusto natin mahintay itong sa atin mismo, lalabas yan September or October (We cannot allow that yet, but we are studying results from other countries almost every week. Of course, we want to wait for our own studies, it will be out by September or October),” she said in an interview over DZBB on Sunday when asked if the mixing of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine doses will be allowed in the country.

She reiterated that they are not yet recommending booster shots because of the limited vaccine supply in the country.

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Gloriani, the former dean of the University of the Philippine (UP) College of Public Health, said the Philippine Society for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (PSAAI) study on COVID-19 vaccine mixing and matching has yet to start because of the delayed delivery of vaccines. The PSAAI team is expected to be led by Dr. Michelle De Vera.

“Wala pa po, hindi pa po nag-uumpisa, medyo na-delay dahil di ba nagkulang ang ating vaccine supply. Hindi agad nakarating mga bakuna so siyempre uunahing bakunahan ang mga tao. Ngayong July yan dapat eh maguumpisa pa lang po ibig sabihin , two to three months bago pa tayo magka-interim analysis (The study has not started yet, it was somehow delayed because of insufficient vaccine supply. Vaccines were not delivered on time, so of course the vaccination of the people will be prioritized. The study should start this July, which means, it will take us two to three months because we could have our interim analysis),” she said.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, who chairs the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), said the Philippines’ study on the safety and efficacy of mixing and matching five COVID-19 vaccines could be expected by end of this month or early August.

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