The Philippines has already started its yearlong “immunosurveillance” program on fully vaccinated Filipino adults to determine the effectiveness of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that were granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in the country.
Vaccine expert panel (VEP) chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said the large-scale study is now being conducted at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) under the leadership of Dr. Regina Berba of the University of Philippines (UP)-Manila.
She said the immunosurveillance study started on July 1, 2021.
“Nag umpisa nung July 1 ay yung immmunosurveillance nila Dr. Regina Berba. Nag umpisa na sa PGH (It was the immunosurveillance of Dr.Regina Berba that started last July 1. It started at the PGH),” she said in a TeleRadyo interview on Thursday night, July 22.
“Ano ang ibig sabihin ng immunosurveillance? ‘Yung mga babakunahan, prospective ito, susundan nila ilan ang magkaka antibodies, kahit anong bakuna all over the Philippines, malaking pag-aaral ito (What does immunosurveillance mean? This is prospective, the project team will monitor how many of these fully vaccinated individuals will develop antibodies, this involves all vaccines all over the Philippines, this is a large-scale study).”
She said the study is implemented for about 12 to 18 months.
“Ito yung durability ng mga immune response. (It will look into the durability of the immune response). We are talking about almost of the vaccines we have, hindi lang isang vaccine ang ite-test (not just one vaccine will be tested),” Gloriani said.
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña announced late May that the Philippines will conduct a yearlong surveillance study to “determine the duration of protection of the EUA-approved COVID-19 vaccines as well as the possible factors affecting vaccine effectiveness.”
He said the project has been approved with a budget of P 114.9 million.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has so far issued EUA to COVID-19 vaccine developed by American drug firm Moderna, American drugmaker Pfizer, United Kingdom-based AstraZeneca, China’s Sinovac, Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, India’s Bharat Biotech, and US-based firm Johnson & Johnson.