DOH, FDA: Benefits of AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh risks

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THE Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) see no reason to halt the AstraZeneca vaccination in the Philippines, saying that its benefits outweigh the risks.

In a press statement, DOH and FDA assure the public that they are coordinating with each other and with the National Task Force Against Covid-19 for the vaccination campaign in the country and closely monitoring all deployed vaccines.

Both agencies said they are aware that a few countries in the European Union have recently paused their vaccination campaign that used this particular coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine following reports of blood clots in people who received the vaccine.

Some of these countries include Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxembourg.

“This pause in their vaccination campaign has been decided as a precautionary measure while they conduct a full investigation to determine causality between the vaccination and the reported adverse events following immunization,” said DOH and FDA.

The European Medicine Authority (EMA) has said that there is no indication that the AstraZeneca vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects under this vaccine.

“The position of EMA’s safety committee, Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), is that the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while the investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing. PRAC is already reviewing all cases of thromboembolic events, and other conditions related to blood clots, reported post-vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca,” said EMA.

For its part, the Cebu City Government will spend P200 million to acquire AstraZeneca and Covovax vaccines. It has allocated a total budget of P400 million for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines. (NRC/With WBS, PR)