DOST expert panel to find out whether Lambda COVID-19 virus variant is vaccine-resistant

Published August 17, 2021, 12:13 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The country’s Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) said Monday, Aug. 16, that it has yet to determine whether or not the Lambda variant of the coronavirus is vaccine-resistant.


VEP chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani said they will look into reports that the Lambda variant could be resistant to vaccines.

“We will still have to find out. Hindi natin basta sasabihin dahil variant ito ay mayroon syang impact titingnan pa rin (We will still have to find out. We can not just say because this is a variant, it will have impact [on vaccines and vaccination, we will still look into it),” she said during the Laging Handa public briefing when asked if the Lambda variant could affect the vaccines and the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The Lambda variant was first detected in Peru in December 2020.

“Sa Chile meron silang pag-aaral na bumaba by threefold ang neutralizing antibodies against the Lambda variant so hindi naman masyadong mababa ang threefold. Actually sa ibang mga variants, yung variant of concern na Delta, yung iba has six-fold ang baba (In Chile, they have a study showing that the neutralizing antibodies have decreased by three-fold against the Lambda variant, three-fold is not too low. Actually in other variants, the variant of concern is Delta, others have a six-fold decrease),” Gloriani said.

She added that there is “no enough evidence” yet on the impact of the Lambda variant on the vaccination.

“Until we see more data, kasi ngayon variant of interest pa lang sya , hindi sya pa variant of concern. Although marami ng naapektuhan more than 20 countries na (Until we see more data, because now it is just a variant of interest, it is not yet a variant of concern. Although, more than 20 countries have been affected),” the VEP chief said.

Gloriani also cited they are also looking at “real world conditions” and “real world effectiveness”, including data on how many fully vaccinated individuals have caught coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to the Lambda variant.

The Department of Health (DOH) said Sunday, Aug. 15, that the Lambda variant has been detected in the country.

The DOH said the first case of Lambda variant involves a 35-year-old woman and is declared as a local case.