Getting two different COVID-19 vaccine brands not recommended – DOH

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Friday that using two different brands is not recommended.

“You would not want to toy with the idea of giving different vaccines for the simple reason that if an adverse event following immunization does happen, or an adverse event of special interest, we are going to struggle to identify which of these two different vaccines must have caused it,” Duque told the Senate Committee of the Whole when asked by Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Dr. Lulu Bravo, the chairperson of the Philippine Medical Association’s Adhoc Committee on Vaccination, also warned against such practice.

“This is not recommended. Interchangeability, that’s what we call it, is actually a no-no because no company will be willing to do a study on that kind of process,” she said.

“Most of the results that we will get if this will be done will not really be based on standard procedures,” she added.

Up to 137 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been secured by the government, according to vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, and it comes from various vaccine brands that have already provided a supply commitment in the Philippines.

“Iyon po ang na ano po natin na maganda po ang negotiation natin kaya po secured na natin ang 137 million po na doses para next year. Puwede pong umakyat ‘yan na … sa 172,” Galvez said.

Getting two different COVID-19 vaccine brands not recommended – DOH

He said that American Pfizer and China Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in the country first in February.
He also said that the government and the Serum Institute of India have already signed for Novovax COVID-19 vaccines for 30 million doses which will also come this year.

The government is expected to sign for the UK AstraZeneca vaccine for the 17 million doses that are likely to arrive in the 2nd quarter of the year.

Johnson and Johnson from the United States are also in the final stages of approval of the agreement, he said, while there are ongoing negotiations to buy Moderna of America as well, including the private sector.

Yesterday, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.