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‘No reason to suspend’ AstraZeneca vaccine in PH despite blood clot concerns in EU countries

By CAMILLE SANTIAGO Published Mar 11, 2021 11:26 pm

The Department of Health-Food and Drug Administration (DOH-FDA) in the Philippines said it will continue to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite the suspension of the jab’s use by some European nations due to concerns over blood clots.

On March 12, The DOH-FDA released a statement that reads: “Following reports of a few EU countries suspending their COVID-19 vaccination program as a precautionary measure, DOH-FDA find no reason to suspend AZ vaccine in the PH as benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh the risk.”

It also added, “DOH, NTF, FDA will closely monitor the vaccine deployment program.”

Several European nations including Denmark, Iceland, Norway have completely stopped all vaccinations with AstraZeneca shots; while Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have banned the use of a batch of AstraZeneca doses as a precaution after about 30 cases of “thromboembolic events” or blood clots among five million people that were inoculated with the vaccine were reported, the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement.

The EMA said: ”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.”

It also explained that there is “no indication” that the AstraZeneca vaccine has caused the cases, which are also “not listed as side effects with this vaccine.”

Meanwhile, according to AFP, France and the UK government “insisted it would continue with its own rollout.”

The UK government says, “We've been clear that it's both safe and effective... and when people are asked to come forward and take it, they should do so in confidence,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman told reporters. 

“And in fact you're starting to see the results of the vaccine programme in terms of the (lower) number of cases we're seeing across the country, the number of deaths, number of hospitalisations,” he said.