No reason for reluctance over AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — The study showing the apparently limited protection given by AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine against the disease’s South African variant should not deter Filipinos from being injected with it, Malacañang said Thursday.
In an online briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reasoned that there are not that many cases of the South African variant in the country yet.
“Hindi naman po malawak ang presensya ng South African COVID [variant] dito sa ating bayan so far. So I don’t think it is something that should be a basis para mag atubili na naman sa AstraZeneca,” Roque said.
(The presence of the South African COVID variant is not yet prevalent in our country. So I don’t think it is something that should be a basis for reluctance over the AstraZeneca vaccine.)
Roque also noted that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine secured an emergency use authorization (EUA) in several countries and no less than the World Health Organization (WHO) itself.
“So, at this point, all I can say is let’s trust the experts. If no less than WHO has also given EUA to AstraZeneca then it must be safe, it must be effective,” Roque said.
WHO’s representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the study was done on a limited scale and only showed evidence of mild and moderate COVID-19 cases after being vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s jab.
Health officials have so far detected six cases of the South African variant in the country.
The Philippines will receive Thursday night some 487,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the WHO-led COVAX facility.
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