The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) warned the public against interchanging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, even as it appealed to wait for the start of the Philippines’ study on the safety and efficacy of mixing and matching five jab brands next month.
VEP chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said they should be given more time to study the safety and immunogenicity of interchanging vaccine brands.
“We are all one in all the experts group that we are not recommending interchanging vaccines until we generate local data. That’s all I can say,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message.
She said the public should wait for the mix and match study to be conducted by Philippine Society for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (PSAAI) which may start next month.
“Masyadong nagmamadali ang mga tao (People are such in a hurry). It is not easy to study all these. Sana tumigil na (I hope it stops),” Gloriani said.
DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, who leads the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), said the PSAAI study has yet to start and will likely be conducted within the month of August.
She 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 be conducted in eight proposed sites: Antipolo or Marikina City, Manila, Pasig City, Makati or Pasay City, Muntinlupa City, Quezon City, Cebu and Davao.