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AstraZeneca defends vaccine
“Overall, both of these reviews reaffirmed the vaccine offers a high level of protection against mild, moderate and severe forms of COVID-19 and that these benefits continue to far outweigh the risks,” the company added.
Johan NILSSON/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP

AstraZeneca defends vaccine

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Citing reviews from the United Kingdom (UK)’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA), AstraZeneca said yesterday that its COVID-19 vaccines offer “high level of protection” against the virus.

“Overall, both of these reviews reaffirmed the vaccine offers a high level of protection against mild, moderate and severe forms of COVID-19 and that these benefits continue to far outweigh the risks,” the company added.

AstraZeneca said both MHRA and EMA have completed their assessment of “extremely rare blood clotting events with low platelets from over 34 million people vaccinated” in the UK and EU. The company noted that both agencies did not identify any risk factor as definite cause for these “extremely rare events.”

AstraZeneca said it is collaborating with regulators to understand individual cases, epidemiology and
possible mechanisms that could explain these extremely rare events.

Sinovac for seniors

Sinovac vaccines are effective against COVID-19 even if given to senior citizens, Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) member Rontgene Solante said yesterday.

Solante noted that based on Phases 1 and 2 trials, the immunogenicity of the vaccines for more than 60 years old “are very good.”

“That means that the antibody capacity for 60 years old and above to produce and antibody against COVID-19 is good,” he said an interview with The Chiefs on OneNews.

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed the use of Sinovac vaccine for senior citizens, following a recommendation of the VEP. Prior to this, the vaccine was indicated only for those 18 to 59 years old.

Mixing vaccines

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is looking to health research in the UK, US and Europe studying the efficacy of mixing COVID-19 vaccines.

“They’re looking at that, mix-match of vaccines, the effect will still be the same, or maybe even better,” Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) executive director Jaime Montoya said.

Meanwhile, 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines from China will arrive at NAIA tomorrow on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 361. This delivery marks the second batch of China-made vaccines purchased by the government.

The first batch, consisting of 1 million Sinovac doses, has been distributed to various hospitals and medical institutions, intended for health care workers. – Rainier Allan Ronda, Rudy Santos

ASTRAZENECA COVID-19 VACCINE
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