AstraZeneca vaccine jabs for all age groups to boost PH inoculation drive — Concepcion

Published May 7, 2021, 6:26 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

More people, including economic frontliners, can be vaccinated after the Department of Health (DOH) agreed to resume the use of coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca for all age groups, according to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

A health worker gives a coronavirus vaccine shot to a resident at a drive-through vaccination site in Makati City on May 7, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

Concepcion lauded the health department’s decision on the AstraZeneca vaccines, saying it would be a “big boost” to the vaccination of the country’s workforce.

“It’s certainly a huge step forward, especially when it comes to combating vaccine hesitancy,” the Go Negosyo founder said in a statement Friday, May 7.

“Economic frontliners come in all age groups, and we need everyone safe and vaccinated for us to return back to normal,” he added.

The government will resume the use of AstraZeneca vaccines after the health department found no present known risk for blood clots after getting the jab. The DOH decision was based on the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration and the department’s panel of vaccine experts.

On April 8, the DOH temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines following reports of blood clotting in some recipients abroad. A review on the vaccine use was undertaken by local experts.

The latest DOH decision comes ahead of the arrival of the initial 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility this month.

Around 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines have also been secured by the private sector and local government units in partnership with the national government. The initial supply is expected to be delivered next month.

“The DOH concluded after discussions with experts that the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risks, and we wholeheartedly agree,” Concepcion said.

“We need to vaccinate as many Filipinos as we can so we can achieve herd immunity and give people back their jobs,” he said.

Concepcion maintained that the vaccination of workers would not only boost their protection from the virus but also revive business operations and hasten the country’s economic recovery.