More than 1,300 fully vaccinated Filipinos have so far been enrolled in the country’s 12-month “immunosurveillance” program, which seeks to determine the effectiveness of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that were granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in the country.
This was disclosed by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña during his weekly report on Friday, July 23.
He said the study is targeting at least 5,000 participants. It is conducted by a research team from the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, led by Dr. Regina Berba.
The Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID), the local government units (LGUs), and the Department of Health (DOH) are also involved in the project.
“The project team has been able to finalize the discussions with the eight trial sites, and is currently putting together the Clinical Trial Agreements per site,” de la Peña said.
“As of July 15, 2021, the first trial site, PGH (Philippine General Hospital), has enrolled 1,380 participants,” he noted.
The DOST chief said the antibody testing “will be done at weeks 2, 12, 24, 36, and 52 after receiving the second dose.”
“The study is expected to determine the duration of protection of the EUA-approved COVID-19 vaccines as well as the possible factors affecting vaccine effectiveness,” he said.
Vaccine expert panel (VEP) chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said the large-scale immunosurveillance study has already started.