MANILA – Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo on Wednesday said the new guidelines on the use of AstraZeneca vaccine will be issued within the week.
“Tinatapos na natin ‘yan ngayon para mailabas this week (We are finalizing it this week),” Domingo said in a televised public briefing.
He said the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee (NAEFIC) have so far presented their inputs on AstraZeneca vaccine use to FDA.
“Sinasabi naman ng lahat (Everyone is saying) the benefit outweighs the risk,” Domingo said.
Domingo said the guidelines would provide the vaccinators information on symptoms to watch out for post vaccination which they must relay to individuals to receive the jab.
“At para alam din ng mga pasyente kung kailan sila kailangang komunsulta kapag may nararamdaman sila (So that patients know when they need to consult a doctor when they have symptoms) for this very rare possible occurrence of blood clotting,” he said.
Domingo related blood clotting incidents to a theory which experts in other countries define as “idiosyncratic reaction”.
“It is the very rare reaction of the body to a medicine that is very unusual, and we cannot predict who has this. The vaccine, there may be a part of it causing to produce antibody against platelets that’s why the platelet count of patients go down and this is one mechanism being studied now,” he said.
While there are no reported serious side effects experienced by those inoculated with AstraZeneca vaccine in the county, some 222 individuals of the 34 million injected with the vaccine in parts of Europe had atypical thromboses within two weeks of vaccination.
On April 8, the Department of Health (DOH) adopted the FDA recommendation to temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for individuals aged below 60 years old, following reports of rare cases of blood clots with low platelets detected in some individuals inoculated with the vaccine in other countries.
The Philippines has so far received more than 527,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through WHO-led COVAX Facility. (PNA)