The local study on COVID-19 vaccine mixing will include COVID-19 booster shots, according to DOST.
Officials from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Tuesday said that the local study on the mixing of COVID-19 vaccine brands will also look into COVID-19 booster shots.
Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) chief Dr. Jaime Montoya said in an interview on Super Radyo dzBB that around 3,000 participants will be split into three groups.
According to Montoya, one group will receive two doses of the same COVID-19 vaccine brand; another group will get Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine as their first dose and a different COVID-19 vaccine brand as their second dose; and the third group will be given a booster shot of a different COVID-19 vaccine brand after getting two Sinovac doses.
Montoya also said that the third group will include individuals belonging to the top three priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination: health workers (A1 category), senior citizens (A2 category), and persons with comorbidities (A3 category).
Previously, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña explained that the clinical trial will study the immunogenicity and safety of combining other COVID-19 vaccine brands with the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine because of it being the “most stable vaccine supply in the country”.
DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said in a health department forum that around PHP 100 million will be needed to fund the said study, which will be held in trial sites across Cebu, Metro Manila, and Davao.
“Bigla-bigla tayong nagkakaroon ng problems sa delay ng mga vaccine delivery. So we would like to answer this question na, ‘If there is a delay, pwede bang mag-mix and match para matuloy ‘yung full dose ng mga nagkaroon na ng first dose?’” she said.
Guevara also said that the DOST hoped “to be able to answer that [question] within three months of the project’s start”.
In addition, Guevara said that the study was expected to produce data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against new COVID-19 variants since the Philippines had logged hundreds of COVID-19 variant cases.
The said trial was seen to run from June 2021 – November 2022 after securing approval from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board.
Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said that two more companies have expressed interest in local vaccine manufacturing, bringing the total number of companies that wanted to produce vaccines in the Philippines to eight.