New vaccines would still be effective against the new variants of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), a vaccine expert said on Wednesday.
“Sa variant, hindi naaapektuhan ang antibodies, ang kanilang neutralizing activity, ‘yung current po, kagagaling ko lang po sa isang meeting kagabi with the World Health Organization (WHO) kung saan tinalakay ang new variant (Regarding the variant, antibodies are not affected, their neutralizing activity, I just came from a meeting last night with WHO where the new variant was discussed),” Dr. Nina Gloriani, head of the Philippines vaccine expert panel, said during a Laging Handa briefing.
“At hindi lamang ito isang variant, mayroon sa UK (United Kingdom), South Africa. Marami po sila pero sa ngayon hindi sila naapektuhan, ‘yun po ang datos na pinakita sa amin so ‘yung mga datos na ito magiging effective pa rin sila but, of course, mayroon tayong mga monitoring (This is not just one variant, there’s one in UK and in South Africa. There are more but they are unaffected and that’s the data shown to us. So, with these data, the vaccines will still be effective but we have monitoring),” she said.
The country’s vaccine expert panel evaluates candidate Covid-19 vaccines with a scoring system before they are endorsed to the Food and Drug Administration.
Gloriani said vaccines are evaluated according to their safety (20 percent), efficacy (10 percent), immunogenicity or its ability to produce an immune response (20 percent), and emergency use authorization (30 percent).
“Regarding safety, there are many parameters to check, there are mild, moderate and severe reactions, local, systemic. There are common reactions expected of vaccines and there are rare events, and we’ll look into all that,” she said.