The HTAC recommends the DOH financing and inclusion of Covovax in the Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 (NDVP) for the general population aged 18 years and above.
COVID-19 Vaccines under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for vaccines and drugs during public health emergencies which allows a shorter period for effective and efficient review of health technologies so that they can become available to affected populations. Before the EUA is issued, regulatory agencies consider quality, safety, and efficacy of the technology.
Following the issuance of an EUA, a positive HTAC recommendation means that the National Immunization Program can finance implementation of the technology and PhilHealth can include it in the COVID benefit package.
Covovax was issued an EUA last 17 November 2021: https://www.fda.gov.ph/sars-cov-2-rs-protein-nanoparticle-vaccine-covovax/
What is the recommendation of HTAC for Covovax as part of homologous primary series vaccination?
The HTAC recommends the DOH financing and inclusion of Covovax in the Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 for the general population aged 18 years and above provided that there is sufficient budget to cover its implementation after pending supply negotiations in 2022.
What is the basis of the HTAC Recommendation?
Based on current available evidence, Covovax has the following characteristics for use in the general population aged 18 years and above:
- Efficacious in reducing severe and symptomatic COVID-19
- Has potential in reducing a significant number of symptomatic infections, assuming sufficient vaccine coverage;
- Safe, although more data is needed to establish its long-term safety
- Can reduce the out-of-pocket expenses due to averted costs of isolation and treatment from COVID-19 infection
- Possess most characteristics desired by key stakeholders, according to national surveys and based on conducted focus group discussions
- Does not aggravate health inequities due to non-stringent logistic requirements
Is Covovax affordable for the implementation among the general population in 2022?
The price of Covovax offered to the Philippine government is higher compared to the procurement cost of the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), but below the cost in Denmark (high income country), according to the UNICEF COVID-19 Vaccine Market Dashboard. As there is currently no information on the price offered to other ASEAN countries or other lower-middle income countries, the allocated budget, and target number of doses for procurement, HTAC cannot assess the affordability. Based on the computed cost per vaccinee by HTAC, Covovax is within the range of cost of vaccines in the National Government Procurement Portfolio.
Will the HTAC have a recommendation for the use of Covovax in the adolescent population (12-17 years old)?
As evidence is rapidly evolving, the HTAC is actively on the watch for evidence and shall update its recommendation on the adolescent population when new information becomes available.
SARS-CoV-2 rS Protein Nanoparticle Vaccine [Covovax] [Internet]. Food and Drug Administration Philippines. 2021 [cited 2021 December 21]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov.ph/sars-cov-2-rs-protein-nanoparticle-vaccine-covovax/
Link to Evidence Summary: https://bit.ly/HTACRecomm_Covovax_2021
Guidance for Health Care Providers: https://hta.doh.gov.ph/2021/12/29/htac-guidance-for-health-care-providers-covid-19-vaccine-covovax/