MANILA — Department of Health (DOH) Undersec. Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed on a May 17 briefing that DOH and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) are discussing the possibility of mixing COVID-19 vaccine brands and booster shots for fully vaccinated individuals.
“The proponent of this trial already presented to us their protocol at dito po ay pag-aaralan ito pong mix-and-match, kung saan puwedeng magpabakuna ng another brand aside from the initial brand that you were given,” Vergeire said.
“Kasama rin po sa pag-aaral na ito itong pagbibigay ng additional shot which is a different brand for those who have completed two doses already,” she added, noting that the details of the study including funding are still being settled.
NO ISSUE WITH MIXING VACCINES
In a report by GMA News, VEP head Dr. Nina Gloriani said last month that experts were looking into the possibility of COVID-19 vaccine brands to address the shorty supply of doses.
Dr. Gloriani also noted that the vaccine expert panel (VEP) “might” consider the “very practical or realistic scenario” of mixing vaccine brands as there should be “no issue” from an immunological standpoint.
“‘Di ba kulang din ang ating mga supplies ng COVID-19 (vaccines)? Sometimes we have to be realistic ano ‘yung nextna puwede ibigay. Hindi puwedeng i-delay too long ‘yung second dose,” she said during a DOH briefing.
Gloriani stressed the need for guidelines to be put in place but noted that the VEP is considering the matter while the DOH said there was still “no sufficient evidence” supporting the validity of mixing vaccine brands.
“‘Yun pa rin po ang ating posisyon at ang posisyon ng ating mga eksperto at FDA that whatever brand you have started with na bakuna sa inyo, ‘yan pa rin ‘yung second dose niyo,” Vergeire said during a DOH briefing.
Gloriani also explained that COVID-19 vaccines are not comparable due to different technologies employed but some vaccines like those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, use the same platform.