MANILA: The Philippines on Thursday provisionally suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 for people below 60 years of age following reports of rare blood clots in some recipients.
Philippine’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called the suspension "a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of every Filipino", as per reports by DPA The FDA noted that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has now recommended that blood clots be listed as a "very rare" side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Several European countries and Canada have also put age restrictions in place due to a handful of blood clot cases reported in younger people.
"While we have not seen such incidents in the country, the FDA has recommended to temporarily suspend the use of the vaccine for persons below 60 years old as we await results of the review being done by our local experts, as well as the official guidance of the WHO (World Health Organization)," FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said.
Meantime, the country has received an initial shipment of 525,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the WHO COVAX facility. It is the second vaccine brand delivered to the Philippines; the other is Sinovac from China.
As of April 6, reportedly, nearly 923,000 doses of both Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered across the country. The Philippines reported 9,216 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total cases to 828,366 with 14,119 fatalities.