By Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara disclosed during the broadcasters’ forum that DOST and DOH have approved the research projects on mix and match vaccines and real-world vaccine effectiveness.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), together with the Department of Health (DOH), will allot more than two million pesos to fund studies related to the mix and match of vaccines as well as their real-world effectiveness.
During the broadcaster’s forum online hosted by Rolly “Lakay” Gonzalo and Mike Abe held on 10 June 2021, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara shared that there are two projects to study and produce relevant data and information about the procedures and effectiveness of vaccines on Filipinos.
Usec. Guevara explained that the project will focus first on finding out if it is possible and safe to mix and match vaccine brands. The study will try to establish the effect of using two different vaccines, like for example using Sinovac as first dose and AstraZeneca for the second dose. It will also aim to determine the effectiveness of using two different vaccines and how long it could protect Filipinos who will be vaccinated.
On the other hand, for the Real-World Vaccine Effectiveness, Usec. Guevara said that the researchers will try to find out how and how long the vaccine would be effective against COVID-19.
Usec. Guevara disclosed that the duration of both research projects will be one year but after three months, they can already provide initial findings.
“Iyong technical data, pag-aaralan ng ating Vaccine Experts Panel according sa characteristics ng mga Filipino,” said Usec. Guevara.
(Our vaccine experts will look and study the gathered technical data based on the characteristics of Filipinos).
According to scientists, there is no problem if you get vaccinated with different brands, this study will only look into the efficacy of these vaccines, Usec. Guevara explained.
“May second part ang mix and match experiment. Aaralin din kung kailangan ba ng booster matapos ang 1st and 2nd dose ng vaccine. So far, wala pang nakaabot ng long-term study ng vaccine. Kung kailangan ba ng booster, iyan ang pangalawang aaralin ng mix and match,” added Usec. Guevara.
(There will be a second part for the mix and match experiment. Also, they will be looking for the need to have the booster after the first and second dose of vaccines because as of now, there is no long-term study about the vaccine.)
For the experiment, the researchers are currently seeking clearance for clinical trials and the ethics board review clearance. Once they get it, they can start the study in July.
“Dahil kakain ng bakuna na kasama sa supply ng DOH, siniguro rin ng study na A1 hanggang A4 din ang isasali sa study para siguradong walang mababawas at hindi mauubos ang supply ng ating vaccine,” said Usec. Guevara.
(To ensure that the vaccine supplies of DOH would not be affected, A1 from A4 will be part of this study.) (With reports from Rosemarie C. Señora, DOST-STII)