THE Department of Health (DoH) has reiterated that it has multiple processes which would ensure that any coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine that would be selected by the Philippine government will be safe and effective, no matter the brand.
In a televised briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the DoH enlisted four sets of experts that would determine the safety and efficacy of vaccines, whether for clinical trials or for emergency use authorization (EUA).
For clinical trials, the Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP), led by Dr. Nina Gloriani of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), will examine the evidence and dossiers of different vaccines that could undergo possible trials in the country.
Vergeire added that the VEP has also been tasked to coordinate with Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meanwhile, assesses all vaccine trials and EUA applications through its own vaccine panel. After a trial or EUA is given, the Health Technology Assessment Council will also give its recommendations to ensure the purchase and distribution of an “ethically sound, cost effective and efficient” vaccine.
An Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group will also be formed that would provide guidance on policies, plans and strategies for the immunization program, including post-marketing surveillance.
A National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee will review any major adverse event following immunization (AEFI).
Vergeire said that these experts will be “immune” from government processes so that they can freely suggest the most effective vaccines that the state can procure.