Guidelines will be issued before the resumption of the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines in the country’s immunization program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Tuesday, April 20.
The Department of Health (DOH) last April 17 announced that the country will resume the use of AstraZeneca shots following an evaluation of experts on the vaccine.
This came after the FDA recommended the resumption of the use of AstraZeneca vaccine, reiterating that benefits still outweigh the risks.
“Tiningnan ng mga experts natin ito at nakita nila na talagang (Our experts looked at it and they found that) definitely, the benefit of using the vaccine outweighs the risk,” FDA Director General Eric Domingo said in a public briefing.
“Kaya sinabi natin sa DOH na pwede na nilang gamitin ulit, gawa lang po sila ng guidelines (So we told the DOH that they can use it again, they just have make the guidelines),” he added.
The Philippines has temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca shots on persons below 60 years old following reports of “very rare” blood clotting possibly linked with the vaccine overseas.
“So definitely ginagawa na po ng DOH yung guidelines ngayon at ilalabas po ‘yun bago dumating yung bagong batch ng ating AstraZeneca vaccines (So definitely, the DOH is now working on the guidelines and it will be released before arrival of the new batch of our AstraZeneca vaccines),” he said.
Domingo expects that the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility will arrive in the country by the end of April or early May.
In an earlier press briefing, the DOH said that it will issue a guideline for the resumption of the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in the country, which would include precautions on the possible effects of the vaccine.
“Tayo ay maglalabas ng isang guideline para sa paggamit ng AstraZeneca to include these different precautions na binigay ng Food and Drug Administration (We will issue a guideline for the use of AstraZeneca to include these different precautions given by the Food and Drug Administration),” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.