DOST allots P133-M for study on mixed Covid-19 vaccines use

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has allocated PHP133 million for the study on using different Covid-19 vaccine brands as the first and second dose.

In a taped report aired on Friday, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the project, “A study evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of mixing different Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine platforms in Filipino adults”, will begin in June, and will run for 18 months or until November 2022.

“The study aims to contribute to addressing the Covid-19 vaccination concerns in the Philippines associated with the unpredictable vaccine supply,” he said, adding that the study also seeks to determine if the high-risk population who completed the dosing regimen of a vaccine would show better immune response after getting a booster dose.

De la Peña, the safety and immunogenicity of completing the vaccine shots from the available Covid-19 vaccines in the country will be evaluated on those given Sinovac as the first dose. “Combination of Sinovac vaccine with other vaccine brands will be the main aim of the study due to it being the most stable vaccine supply in the country,” he added.

Adverse events will be monitored and evaluated as part of the study’s safety assessment. Antibody tests, on the other hand, will be done in five different time points to assess the immunogenicity of the different vaccine combinations.

De la Peña pointed out that the local clinical data to be generated from this study can serve as basis for the Department of Health’s guidelines on the vaccination rollout, especially during limited vaccine supplies or vaccine shortage.

The study will be led by Dr. Michelle De Vera of the Philippine Society for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, he said. There are reportedly eight proposed study sites nationwide.