The Department of Health (DOH) has approved the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to suspend the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for people below 60 years old.
The recommendation comes after recent reports in other countries of rare cases of blood clots with low platelets detected in some individuals inoculated with the vaccine.
“We are aware of the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to list blood clots as very rare side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine. While we have not seen such incidents in the country, the FDA has recommended to temporarily suspend the use of the vaccine for persons below 60 years old as we await results of the review being done by our local experts and the official guidance of the WHO,” FDA chief Eric Domingo said in a statement.
The DOH and the FDA assured the public that experts are carefully reviewing the new development on the AstraZeneca vaccine and they will craft appropriate recommendations on vaccine use.
The country has not received any reports of such effects yet, but the government is carefully monitoring the rollout of the vaccines to manage any possible adverse events.
“I want to emphasize that this temporary suspension DOES NOT MEAN that the vaccine is unsafe or ineffective. It just means that we are taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of every Filipino,” he said.
Domingo said that the benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh the risks and they urge people to get vaccinated.