The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Solidarity Vaccine Trial (SVT) and the Philippines’ study on the safety and efficacy of mixing and matching five coronavirus disease (COVID-19) jabs will push through amid Metro Manila’s shift to the most restrictive lockdown starting next week.
DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, who leads the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES), said the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the capital region will not in any way affect the conduct of the WHO’s SVT and the Philippine Society for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s (PSAAI) study on the safety and immunogenicity of interchanging vaccine brands in August.
“We will most likely follow the guidelines for the vaccine rollout,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message on Saturday, July 31, when asked if the ECQ imposition will affect the scheduled vaccine trials.
She assured the public that the WHO’s SVT and the PSAAI study will proceed “following IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) Guidelines and NTF (National Task Force) instructions.”
During the Laging Handa public briefing on July 13, Guevara announced that Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III and WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan signed a letter of agreement for the conduct of SVT in the country.
The WHO’s SVT has a project duration of 18 months and is funded by the Philippine government through DOST and DOH.
Meanwhile, the PSAAI study will be conducted for 18 months and will involve 3,000 participants aged 18 and above.
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,”