PH downplays AstraZeneca ‘clotting’ reports, to continue vaccinations

THERE is no need to stop the distribution of the vaccines from AstraZeneca in the Philippines, the government said on Friday, amid reports of “clotting” experienced by recipients from several countries in Europe some of which allegedly resulted in deaths.

Denmark suspended its AZD1222 vaccination for two weeks after a 60-year-old woman who was inoculated died after experiencing a blood clot.

Norway and Iceland also suspended their vaccination programs pending investigation as to whether the blood clots were caused by the vaccine.

Austria had suspended its own inoculation of a batch of the vaccine after a 49-year-old nurse died of “severe blood coagulation problems” days after receiving the jab.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in its preliminary investigation that the batch used could not be the cause of the nurse’s death.

In a statement, the Department of Health (DoH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concurred with the EMA that there was no indication that the AZD1222, manufactured by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm caused clotting, which was not listed as a side effect of the vaccine.

“The position of EMA’s safety committee…. is that the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing,” the EMA added.

The DoH and FDA, together with the National Task Force against Covid-19 (NTF-Covid-19), assured the public that it was monitoring all deployed vaccines in the country and would closely coordinate with each other on the issue.

The country has received an initial 525,000 doses of the AZD1222 which was deployed in hospitals across the country.