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AstraZeneca benefits outweigh risks â Duterte adviser
“Of course any information like this is a point of concern. We are expecting around 22 to 26 million total combined doses of AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility, LGUs, and private sector procurement. Also, most of the workforce in the private sector belong to the age group below 60… so this greatly affects a lot in our population,” the Go Negosyo founder said. “Vaccinating these sectors is very vital for the goal of our vaccination program, failing to meet these goals might have a direct hit in the economy.”
AFP/Alain Jocard

AstraZeneca benefits outweigh risks – Duterte adviser

(The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Following reports from European Medical agencies regarding the link of blood clotting with AstraZeneca vaccination and after local health agencies announced the temporary suspension of the vaccine for persons below 60, presidential adviser for entrepreneur Joey Concepcion said Filipinos should focus on the huge benefits of the British-Swedish made jab instead.

“Of course any information like this is a point of concern. We are expecting around 22 to 26 million total combined doses of AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility, LGUs, and private sector procurement. Also, most of the workforce in the private sector belong to the age group below 60… so this greatly affects a lot in our population,” the Go Negosyo founder said. “Vaccinating these sectors is very vital for the goal of our vaccination program, failing to meet these goals might have a direct hit in the economy.”

He said the Philippines has inoculated more than 500,000 individuals using AstraZeneca, “and if there are any extreme adverse effects, we should know it by now.”

Countries like Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand have no restrictions, he noted, except the United Kingdom which limits use to those over 30 years old.

“Patient safety remains to be the highest priority for AstraZeneca. Tens of millions of people have now received our vaccine across the globe. The extensive body of data from two large clinical datasets and real-world evidence demonstrate its effectiveness, reaffirming the role the vaccine can play during this public health crisis. We will continue to work with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration to answer any questions they may have,” AstraZeneca in a statement.

Concepcion said, “Aside from the assurance that AstraZeneca gave us, publications from medical experts suggest that the vaccine is still extremely effective and safe despite blood concerns. All experts agree that vaccination of AstraZeneca continues to be a huge benefit to our vaccination campaign and the current cases of very rare blood clots are still within the risk parameters.”

Base on data as of March 31 from the UK, out of 20.2 million recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine, only 79 reported to have clotting issues — around four in every million people, he said.

“WHO is carefully monitoring the rollout of all COVID-19 vaccines and will continue to work closely with countries to manage potential risks, and to use science and data to drive response and recommendations. In extensive vaccination campaigns, it is normal for countries to identify potential adverse events following immunization,” World Health Organization stated.

“This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination itself, but they must be investigated to ensure that any safety concerns are addressed quickly,” it added.

“The benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but the MHRA advises careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition. The MHRA is not recommending age restrictions in COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine use,” Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the UK said.

“No effective medicine or vaccine is without risk. We continually monitor safety during widespread use of any vaccine,” June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said.

With the update on AstraZeneca vaccines, the 2.6 million doses procured by the first batch of donors are expected to arrive this May and June, and no delays are expected with the shipment coming from Thailand. The second batch of 14.5 million doses procured by both the private sector and LGUs is expected to arrive by the third and fourth quarters.

“We are expecting all of these with no delays as we need to vaccinate the country as fast as we can. All of the vaccines are proven safe and effective before they are approved by numerous regulatory bodies… We In winning this war, we could open the economy and we will be able to save both lives and livelihoods in the process,” Concepcion said.

ASTRAZENECA COVID-19 VACCINE
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