Philippines suspends use of AstraZeneca jab for people under 60
Philippine health authorities on Thursday suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for people under 60 years of age.
Food and Drug Administration chief, Rolando Enrique Domingo said in a statement that the suspension came after the European Medicines Agency recommended to include blood clots as a rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“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,” Domingo said.
The Philippines has so far received 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, about a fifth of the country’s total inventory, through the COVAX facility.
Another 2.6 million doses, purchased by the private sector, will be delivered next month.
The Philippines kicked off its inoculation programme on March 1, starting with healthcare workers. Vaccinations have since expanded to people with co-morbidities and the elderly.
It has so far administered nearly 923,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech and AstraZeneca vaccines, part of its goal of inoculating 70 million of its 108 million population this year.