DOST to start clinical trial for mix-and-match COVID-19 vax

Maris Federez   •   November 12, 2021   •   300

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to start the clinical trial for mix and match COVID-19 vaccines.

The trial will be conducted in the cities of Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Dasmarinas, and Davao.

The DOST said it is awaiting the final approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct the trial.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Guevara said the agency is currently holding training and virtual site initiation visits in areas where the clinical study will take place.

“Sa kasalukuyan, hindi pa tayo nagre-recruit dahil inaantay namin ang final approval ng FDA bago tayo magsimula ng pagbabakuna. Ngunit ang project team ay handa na po,” Guevara said.

The DOST are looking for unvaccinated individuals aged 18 and above to participate in the trial.

Pregnant women and those who have contracted the disease can no longer join the study.

Those with comorbidities may join the trial as long as they are able to seek clearance from the doctors that they are medically stable.

The participants in the trial will be divided into three groups with the first group to be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccines for the first and second dose.

The second group will be injected with Sinovac for the first dose and other brands such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Sputnik V for the second dose.

The third dose, on the other hand, will receive Sinovac for their first and second dose, and another brand as a booster shot.

“Iyong isang grupo na pag-aaral ay bibigyan ng Sinovac at Sinovac lang. Tapos iyong pangalawang grupo naman, marami sila bibigyan ng Sinovac bilang first dose, tapos 250 bibigyan ng Pfizer-Biontech, Moderna, AztraZeneca, o Sputnik V bilang second dose. Iyong pangatlong grupo naman ang mayroon third dose o booster. Sinvoac ang ibibigay na una at second dose tapos Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca o Sputnik V ang gagamitin na third dose,” Guevara said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

VP Leni under quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 positive case

Maris Federez   •   December 29, 2021

MANILA, President — Vice President Leni Robredo has announced that she is under quarantine following exposure to a COVID-19 case.

Robredo made the disclosure in a Facebook live video on Wednesday (December 29) afternoon, noting that she was exposed to one of her close-in security who tested positive for the virus Tuesday.

“Kagabi tinawagan ako na yung isang close-in security ko nag-positive. So ngayon, naka-quarantine ako,” she said.

The Vice President said she, along with her team who were also exposed will be on quarantine for seven days.

She added that they started their isolation period immediately after hearing the news from the security team on Tuesday night.

“Our protocol in the office is to go on quarantine for seven days, kaya hanggang after New Year pa,” she added.

Robredo said that while this development put her planned visit to more typhoon-hit areas in the country on hold, she assured that the relief operations her office has been conducting will not stop.

“Yung trabaho ko gagawin ko na munang online para hindi sayang sa oras pero nahinto yung aking pag-iikot pero rest assured na yung mga teams natin ay tuloy tuloy yung relief operations on the ground,” she said.

The Vice President said this is the second time she has been exposed to a COVID-19 case.

She is fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and received Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot this month. —/mbmf

Moderna booster shot, more effective vs COVID-19 Omicron-variant

Maris Federez   •   December 21, 2021

Biotechnology company Moderna has announced that based on its preliminary data, a half-dose booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine increases antibody levels against the Omicron variant compared to a fully vaccinated person who has not received a booster shot.

A larger dose of Moderna booster, the company said, provides a higher level of antibody.

At present, a 50-microgram dose of Moderna vaccine is being administered as a booster.

Moderna has assured that the company will fast-track the clinical testing of Omicron-specific boosters to fight the more transmissible variant.

Aside from Moderna, other vaccine makers continue to develop variant-specific booster shots. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Kath Dumaraos)

Over 682K Moderna vaccine doses arrive in Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Another batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses arrived in the country Tuesday morning, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

The NTF said the shipment contains a total of 682,360 vaccine doses procured by the Philippine government.

Since February, the country has received over 130 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccine brands.

The latest shipment is expected to be used in the inoculation of booster doses for senior citizens and selected immunocompromised individuals.

As of November 22, a total of 33,847,741 individuals have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus disease, according to government data.

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