HTAC talks on Moderna bivalent vax start Nov 18: DOH

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

November 15, 2022, 5:13 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of Andalou)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of Andalou)

MANILA – The Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) will start its initial discussions on Moderna’s bivalent vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Friday (Nov. 18).

“We’re just waiting para ‘yung Moderna naman makapag-submit na rin sa FDA [Food and Drug Administration] ng kanilang application for their EUA [emergency use authorization] (We’re just waiting so that Moderna can submit to FDA their application for their EUA)," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media briefing Tuesday.

Before a Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out, it must undergo a regulatory process that includes a positive recommendation from the HTAC and EUA from the FDA to ensure its effectiveness and safety for public use.

Kami po ay may continuous coordination with them already, we have already identified our funds, kung ano yung paggagamitan natin ng pondo at kung ilan ‘yung bibilhin natin (We have continuous coordination with them already, we have already identified our funds, where to use our funds, and how many to purchase) from Moderna for these bivalent vaccines,” Vergeire said.

Moderna has committed to deliver their jabs as early as November or December, she added.

In a televised public briefing, infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvaña emphasized the importance of the availability of bivalent vaccines amid the relaxed face mask mandate nationwide.

He said this type of vaccine targets newer variants of concern, providing additional protection against Covid-19 on top of the older jabs.

As of Nov. 14, almost 73.7 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, including more than 6.9 million senior citizens, 10 million adolescents, and 5.3 million children.

Around 20.8 million individuals have received their first booster dose and almost 3.5 million have received their second booster shot. (PNA)