The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked the Department of Health to stop administering AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to individuals under 60 years old due to a very rare possible side effect of a blood clot, FDA chief Eric Domingo said Thursday.
Domingo said this is in light of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) findings that 16 out of the 200 million individuals who suffered a blood clot or had reduced platelet count after getting an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
“Nakikita ito [ng EMA] usually sa kababaihan na less than 60 years old. We asked DOH na kung may natitira pang Astrazeneca vaccine, siguro huwag na muna natin gamitin sa people under 60 years old until we get clearer evidence and guidance from WHO (World Health Organization) and our experts,” Domingo said.
(What the EMA found out is that this side effect was found on females under 60 years old. We asked DOH to stop using AstraZeneca on people under 60 years old for the meantime pending clearer evidence and guidance from WHO and our experts.)
Domingo, however, said that those who were given AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines have yet to report a side effect of having a blood clot or reduced platelet count.
Domingo said that with the country’s almost a million doses of AstraZeneca expected to be delivered next month, there is time for a comprehensive scrutiny.
“We almost used up our AstraZeneca supply. The next batch of AstraZeneca is expected to be delivered a month from now. That will give us the time to study and evidence and come up with new guidelines,” he said.
Based on FDA evaluation, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is good for 18 years old and above and has an efficacy rate of 70% after first dose—a rating that increases after the second dose is administered four to 12 weeks after. — RSJ, GMA News