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Philippines Resumes Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine

Benefits outweigh the risks.
by Ara Eugenio
Apr 19, 2021
Photo/s: Shutterstock

The Philippines will resume use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for those below 60 after a "unanimous" recommendation of experts that its benefits outweigh the risks, health authorities said Monday.

Use of the jab on the specific age group was paused for two weeks to give way to an evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration of reports that it could cause a blood clot in very rare circumstances.

"With the evaluation done at tsaka base rin sa mga rekomendasyon all over the world and from World Health Organization, itutuloy po natin ang bakunahan,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.


The Blood Clot Risk From AstraZeneca's Vaccine is This Rare

AstraZeneca Vaccine: What We Know and Don't Know

'Don't Panic': WHO Says on AstraZeneca Vaccines

Director General Eric Domingo of the FDA earlier said the decision to use the AstraZeneca jab was "unanimous" among health experts here and abroad. The Filipino regulator also did not find local reports of blood clots among those vaccinated with the drug.

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Based on the most recent data, someone getting the AstraZeneca vaccine stands a 1-in-153,000 chance of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), the blood clot in the brain, or its equivalent for the digestive tract. The risk of death as of March 22, is one in 1.4 million. 

This means that the odds of getting hit by lightning in an average lifetime—about 1 in 15,000 are more than 90 times higher than dying from a brain blood clots after receiving an AstraZeneca jab.

Jico Joson
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