DOST eyes start of COVID-19 vaccine mix-and-match trial in August

The Philippines’ study on the safety and efficacy of mixing and matching five coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines could be expected by next month, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Monday, July 26.

(Photo by Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN)

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, who leads the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), said the Philippine Society for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (PSAAI) study on the safety and immunogenicity of interchanging vaccine brands has yet to start and will likely be conducted within the month of August.

“The vaccination for the mix and match study is targeted to start within August once all preparations are in place and vaccine supplies allocations have been confirmed with the DOH (Department of Health),” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message.

DOST’s vaccine expert panel (VEP) chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani also confirmed that the PSAII study “has not yet started.”

She expressed hope that the interim analysis on mix-and-match trials will be released before the end of the year.

Guevara said the 18 month-long clinical trial will involve 3,000 participants who are aged 18 and above and who belong to A1 to A4 priority groups under the country’s vaccination program.

The five vaccine brands that will be used for the PSAAI study are the following: Sinovac, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.

"The study will evaluate interchanging vaccine brands to complete the vaccination series, with Sinovac as the first dose. Sinovac was chosen as it is considered to be the most stable vaccine supply in the country,” Guevara said.

“All of the vaccines to be mixed and matched with Sinovac are vaccines that have already been given an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval by the Philippine FDA, specifically: AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Pfizer, and Moderna,” she added.

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The study will be conducted in eight proposed sites: Antipolo or Marikina City, Manila, Pasig City, Makati or Pasay City, Muntinlupa City, Quezon City, Cebu and Davao,”

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