DOH heeds FDA’s advice to continue AstraZeneca vaccination
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will continue to use AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation that the country should proceed to use the jabs from the British-Swede drugmaker.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reiterated that the temporary suspension of the use of AstraZeneca vaccines on people aged 59 and below was only part of the regulatory process following reports on very rare cases of blood clots among those vaccinated abroad.
“With the evaluation done at tsaka base rin sa mga rekomendasyon all over the world and from WHO (World Health Organization), itutuloy po natin ang bakunahan,” Vergeire said at the Laging Handa public briefing.
She said that the government will issue instructions on the use of AstraZeneca vaccines with the resumption of its rollout.
Vergeire pointed out that it is well within the mandate of the FDA to review the safety of vaccines when there are health issues from its use reported in other countries.
“Tapos na ang pag-evaluate ng mga eksperto with FDA at nagsabi naman sila talaga na after these two weeks when the evaluation comes out, we will again resume the vaccination with AstraZeneca,” she said.
(The evaluation conducted by experts and the FDA is already completed. They said that after these two weeks, when the evaluation comes out, we will again resume the vaccination with AstraZeneca.)
“But this time there are specific indications. Ibig sabihin meron tayong mga kailangan na guidance sa mga gagamit for this AstraZeneca vaccine, at pinag-uusapan na ‘yan ngayon,” she added.
(But this time there are specific indications. This means there will be guidance for those who will use AstraZeneca vaccines and this is now being discussed.)
Vergeire said the DOH will hold a discussion with the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group to formulate revised protocols that will be issued to implementing units for vaccination.
On Friday, FDA Director General Eric Domingo said the World Health Organization, the country’s vaccine experts panel, and the adverse events committee maintained that the benefits outweigh the risks for AstraZeneca vaccines.
He said the FDA did not find reports of blood clots among those vaccinated in the country.
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