Testing the Effectiveness of Two Pneumonia Vaccines – House to DOH

Facade of the DOH main office in Manila. (FILE PHOTO INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has issued a resolution urging the Department of Health (DOH) to study and evaluate the effectiveness of two types of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) to treat suspected abnormalities.

House Resolution No. 2492, dated Feb. 14, urges DOH and the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) to “gather sufficient data to study, review, review, and evaluate” VCPs – in especially the PCV13 and the more affordable PCV10.

According to the resolution, the DOH continued to procure the more expensive PCV13 from 2014, even when the World Health Organization had already declared in a position paper in February 2019 that PCV10 and PCV13 were effective against against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).

He also stated that the HTAC itself found that “overall evidence suggests that PCV10 and PCV13 are effective in reducing the incidence of IPD and clinical pneumonia caused by their ten common serotypes compared to PCV7, except for PCV7. ‘other vaccines or the absence of vaccination’.

The resolution further noted that the HTAC found that “PCV10 is more affordable than PCV13 and further recognizes that a cheaper vaccine would be more favorable to provide higher immunization coverage on a per dose basis.”

The lower house went on to explain in the same resolution how crucial the affordability of the vaccine would be in achieving universal coverage, “which is a strategic health priority of the government, and consideration of other effective CVs can boost the competition in the purchase of PCV for the protection of the public interest”.

Citing the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report, the resolution said pneumococcal disease was the fourth leading cause of death in the country in 2020.

The House released the resolution after a consumer group urged the government to temporarily suspend the purchase of pneumonia vaccines because the bidding process allegedly went wrong.

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Sara H. Byrd