PH still using AstraZeneca despite halt in Europe


ON HOLD Several European nations have postponed or restricted the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, following studies of the formation of blood clots in some individuals who had been inoculated and even some deaths. —RICHARD A. REYES

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday mentioned it might proceed administering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, despite the suspension of inoculations in a number of nations in Europe as a consequence of studies of blood clots and a variety of fatalities.

“At present, the DOH and the FDA emphasize that there is no indication for the Philippines to stop rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines,” the 2 companies mentioned in a joint assertion.

Nevertheless, they’re “closely coordinating on this matter,” along with the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

“The public is assured they will closely monitor all deployed vaccines,” the DOH and the FDA mentioned.

The Philippines has to this point obtained 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine by way of the COVAX international vaccine pool coled by the World Health Organization. About 4.5 million extra AstraZeneca doses are anticipated to be delivered in May, additionally coming from COVAX.

Blood clots, deaths

Several nations in Europe have postponed or restricted the rollout of their quota of the vaccine, following studies of the formation of blood clots in some individuals who had been inoculated and even some reported deaths.

Austria earlier stopped using a batch of AstraZeneca photographs whereas investigating a dying from coagulation problems and an sickness from a pulmonary embolism.

Denmark suspended the photographs after a 60-year-old girl who was given an AstraZeneca jab from the identical batch used in Austria shaped a blood clot and died, Danish well being authorities mentioned.

Italian authorities have ordered the withdrawal of a batch of the vaccine following the reported deaths of two males in Sicily who had been just lately inoculated.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Romania have adopted after Norway and Iceland in suspending inoculations with the AstraZeneca vaccine whereas investigations proceed.

Still, the European drugs regulator EMA mentioned the vaccine’s advantages outweighed its dangers and will proceed to be administered.

Thailand on Friday joined these European nations in suspending the vaccine, a choice that led to the embarrassing spectacle of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha abruptly canceling his personal televised jab.

‘Adverse events’

The DOH on Friday mentioned it had recorded, as of Tuesday, 21 severe “adverse events” or negative effects following immunization.

At a media briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire mentioned the negative effects included issue in respiration and chest pains.

Of the 21 severe adversarial occasions, 20 obtained the CoronaVac vaccine and one particular person obtained the AstraZeneca vaccine. They had been noticed and given first support when crucial, Vergeire mentioned.

She additionally mentioned the National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee was finding out the causality of the negative effects, including that the committee hypothesized that a few of the adversarial occasions had been brought on by anxiousness or concern, both of getting vaccinated, or of needles.

Meanwhile, 957 others have skilled nonserious negative effects together with muscle ache, ache on the injection web site, fever, hypertension and rashes, Vergeire mentioned.

Of the 957 who skilled these negative effects, 872 had been inoculated with the CoronaVac vaccine and 85 obtained the AstraZeneca vaccine.

As of Wednesday, a complete of 114,615 people have been vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19

Side results following vaccinations are regular and shouldn’t be feared, Vergeire mentioned.

“When our children go to the pediatrician to get their shots, the doctor advises parents to watch out for possible fever or irritability shortly after. Our COVID-19 vaccines are the same. These are usual and should not cause fear,” she mentioned in Filipino.

‘Localized lockdowns’

Meanwhile on Friday, the DOH mentioned it recorded 4,578 new instances of COVID-19 in the nation, which pushed the overall caseload as much as 611,618.

Friday’s new instances are the very best in a single day since Sept. 14, 2020, when there have been 4,699 new instances recorded.

In its every day case bulletin, the DOH mentioned there are at the moment 52,012 energetic instances, the very best since Oct. 17, 2020, when there have been 52,423 energetic instances.

Of the energetic instances, the bulk or 92.2 % are delicate, 4.1 % are asymptomatic, 1.5 % are important, 1.5 % are extreme and 0.71 % are average.

According to the DOH, one other 272 sufferers have recovered, bringing recoveries as much as 546,912. However, one other 87 have additionally perished, bringing the dying toll to 12,694.

The OCTA Research Group has warned in a brand new report that in Metro Manila alone, new instances per day may attain as much as 4,000 by the tip of March.

On Friday, OCTA warned additional there may very well be as many as 6,500 new instances a day by the tip of March, if there isn’t any change in the present pattern.

The report additionally recognized 12 cities in the capital area which had been among the many prime areas with a “significant” upward pattern in the variety of new COVID-19 instances—Quezon City, Manila, Pasay, Makati, Parañaque, Taguig, Malabon, Pasig, Valenzuela, Caloocan, Marikina and Navotas.

Of these cities, Quezon City has recorded essentially the most new instances in the previous week, averaging 274 confirmed infections every day.

OCTA advisable localized lockdowns to gradual the surge of infections.

“Localized lockdowns have been shown to be effective in slowing down increasing trends in new cases. Continued monitoring and strict implementation by the local governments will hopefully slow down the rate of infection in [the capital region] and put an end to this surge,” OCTA mentioned.

The group additionally advisable different restrictions, together with however not restricted to curfews, border controls, diminished capability in sure institutions, limitations in social gatherings, and continued compliance with well being protocols by residents.

On whether or not the two-week curfew starting on Monday may assist cease the unfold of the virus, OCTA analysis fellow Guido David mentioned “it should help, of course.”

“How much it will help, we will see,” he added. —WITH REPORTS FROM REUTERS AND AFP

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