COVID-19 Vaccines Evidence Summary HTAC Press Release

In fulfilment of its mandate of promoting evidence-informed health policy and decision-making, the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) continues to update its assessments of health technologies. In light of emerging real world effectiveness and real world safety data, the HTAC considers new evidence in updating recommendations on the following COVID-19 vaccines:

Vaccine HTAC Recomendation Version 1 HTAC Recommendation Version 2 Rationale for updating the HTAC recommendation
Pfizer - BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (1st interim recommendation: 04 February 2021) The HTAC recommends the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among identified priority groups aged 16 years and older. HTAC recommendation (as of 25 June 2021) The HTAC maintains its recommendation for the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) to reduce the burden of COVID-19, based on updated evidence review. The HTAC recognizes that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (BNT162b2) is likely to give protection against COVID-19 and has an acceptable short term safety among population aged 12 to 15 years old. However, given the current global limitation in vaccine supply, the HTAC maintains its recommendation among identified priority groups aged 16 years and older only. This is also aligned with the WHO SAGE Roadmap for Prioritizing Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Context of Limited Supply dated 13 November 2021 (which guides our national vaccination prioritization plan) to prioritize high vaccine coverage in the high-risk populations before proceeding to vaccination of children and adolescents who are at low-risk of severe disease. Once supply limitations are resolved and high vaccination coverage is achieved for higher priority groups, this recommendation may be revised to expand to the younger population.
AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (1st interim recommendation: 08 February 2021) The HTAC recommends the emergency use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among eligible populations aged 18 years and older. While there is insufficient direct evidence regarding efficacy and safety for ages 56 years and older based on the interim results of the Phase III trial on COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (Voysey et al, 2020) [cut-off analysis: date: 04 November 2020], protection is expected given the immunogenicity profile seen in this age group and based on the experience of other countries with other vaccines, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Using COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca for the population aged 56 years and above is deemed acceptable. Further findings are expected from ongoing studies, which include a greater number of elderly participants HTAC recommendation (as of 25 June 2021) The HTAC recommends the emergency use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca with a dosing interval of 8-12 weeks to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among eligible populations aged 18 years and older The updated WHO Interim recommendations for use of the ChAdOx1-S [recombinant] vaccine against COVID-19 dated April 21, 2021 recommended an interval of 8 to 12 weeks between the two doses of the vaccine. This is based on updated results of the randomized trials reported in the interim HTAC recommendation version 1. Pooled analysis showed that two-dose efficacy and immunogenicity increased with a longer dosing interval. The previous HTAC recommendation was based on the dosing interval (i.e., 4-12 weeks) indicated in the Philippine FDA-approved EUA of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca last January 28, 2021.
Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine (1st interim recommendation: 12 April 2021) The HTAC recommends the emergency use of Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac COVID-19 Vaccine to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among eligible populations aged 18 years and older. HTAC recommendation (as of 25 June 2021) The HTAC maintains its recommendation for the emergency use of Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac COVID-19 Vaccine to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among the population 18 years of age and older. HTAC has considered the current best available evidence on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in the updating of the evidence summary, but retained the recommendation on the emergency use of Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac COVID-19 Vaccine.
Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (1st interim recommendation: 30 April 2021) The HTAC recommends the emergency use of Janssen Ad26.COV2.S (COVID-19) Vaccine to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among the population 18 years of age and older. HTAC recommendation (as of 25 June 2021) The HTAC maintains its recommendation for the emergency use of Janssen Ad26.COV2.S (COVID-19) Vaccine to reduce the burden of COVID-19 among the population 18 years of age and older. HTAC has considered the current best available evidence on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in the updating of the evidence summary, but retained the recommendation on the emergency use of Janssen Ad26.COV2.S (COVID-19) Vaccine.

Based on existing evidence from ongoing trials, the HTAC has determined that the vaccine’s positive health impacts outweigh its short-term risks. 

As new information emerges, the HTA Council will continue to update its recommendations and provide our policy-makers, health providers, and the Filipino public evidence-based guidance.

HTAC is actively on the watch for evidence as it is rapidly evolving, and shall update its recommendation when new information becomes available.