‘Benefits still outweigh risks’: DOST’s expert panel won’t recommend halt of Pfizer, Moderna vaccination

Published June 27, 2021, 3:53 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The country’s vaccine expert panel (VEP) will not recommend to the government to stop the vaccination using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines amid the more than 1,200 cases of myocarditis or heart inflammation recorded in the United States among young adults and adolescents after the inoculation of the US-made jabs.

In this file photo, a health care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a Los Angeles County mobile vaccination clinic on May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP/ MANILA BULLETIN

VEP chair Dr. Nina Gloriani said there is no reason to halt the inoculation using the vaccines developed by American drugmakers.

“We will not recommend stopping vaccination with these vaccines. The warning talks about a rare adverse event and the benefits still outweigh the risks,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message after the US Food and Drug Administration had decided to add a warning to the literature that accompanies Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to indicate the rare risk of myocarditis or the inflammation of the heart muscle after its use.

“Potential vaccinees just need to be informed of this rare possibility especially among the younger individuals, including adolescents,” she added.

She expressed the commitment of the Department of Science and Technology’s expert panel to continue keeping an eye on the safety and efficacy of all vaccines.

“We will continue to monitor all vaccines with evolving data on safety, immunogenicity, efficacy,” Gloriani said.

DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya said on Sunday, June 27, said amid the reported side effects of vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, the use of these vaccines should not be stopped.

He said the adverse event is “not permanent” and has not resulted in deaths among vaccinees.

Related story: https://mb.com.ph/2021/06/27/pfizer-vaccination-in-ph-should-not-be-stopped-amid-rare-cases-of-heart-inflammation-in-us-dost-exec/

Some 40 million doses of Pfizer vaccines are expected to be delivered in August after the government signed a pact with Pfizer-BioNTech to purchase the US-made jabs.