Baguio, Bacoor, Cebu, Davao identified as additional sites for PH real-world study on ‘effectiveness’ of COVID-19 vaccines

Six more sites have been identified for the country’s yearlong real-world study on the effectiveness of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Monday, Oct. 25.

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara said aside from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), Baguio, Bacoor, Cebu, Davao, Philippine National Police (PNP), and San Miguel Corporation (SMC) have also been named as “study implementation sites.”

The project team, led by Dr. Regina Berba of UP-Manila started the study at PGH in July this year.

“Other study implementation sites that are almost ready to start once approved by the Research Ethics Boards are as follows: Baguio, Bacoor, Cebu, Davao, Philippine National Police (PNP), and San Miguel Corporation (SMC),” Guevara told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message.

The head of the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES) said a total of 1,785 participants have so far been recruited at the UP-PGH site as of Oct. 1.

“Out of 1,785 , 1,147 specimens for antibody determination (anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG S) have been successfully processed and the results were released to the study participants,” she said.

The immunosurveillance study is targeting at least 5,000 participants. It was expected to be conducted for about 12 to 18 months.

Guevara said interim data may be released to the Department of Health (DOH) and the general public by next month.

The study entitled, “Philippine Vaccine Effectiveness Project: A Post-COVID-19 Vaccination Surveillance Among Filipino Adults” aims to estimate the vaccine effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines used in the real world setting in the Philippines by immunogenicity and prevention of symptomatic COVID-19.

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.