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No reason to halt Pfizer vaccination in Philippines amid side effects —DOST official

There is no reason to stop the inoculation using American-made Pfizer vaccines in the Philippines even as there are newly-reported side effects for using the COVID-19 jabs, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Sunday. 

This after reports from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about rare cases of myocarditis or heart inflammation among young adults and adolescents after vaccination using Moderna and Pfizer jabs.

But Dr. Jaime Montoya, DOST–Philippine Council for Health Research and Development executive director and an infectious disease expert, said the adverse effect is not permanent. Still it is important to note that these side effects could happen after Pfizer and Moderna inoculation, he added.

"Sa huli naming pagkakaalam, ito ay isasama ng (Philippine) FDA doon sa information na kasama ng bakuna pero hindi naman ito nangangahulugan na ito ay rason para hindi ibigay ang bakuna," Montoya said over Dobol B TV, when questioned about the Pfizer vaccine side effects.

(The Philippine FDA will include this information for Pfizer vaccines but this doesn't mean that we should stop the vaccination using the vaccines.)

"Ito ay pinapaalalahanan na ito ay posibleng mangyari pero hindi nangangahulugan na may namamatay. (We are reminding that this could still happen but it doesn't mean that there will be deaths.)," Montoya added.

Further, the health expert explained that US authorities also found that those who experienced heart inflammation may have viral infection.

"May nabigyan ng bakuna dahilan ay mayroon silang viral infection na hindi nila alam na sanhi ng tinatawag na myocarditis," he said.

(Some were vaccinated but they had viral infections that caused heart inflammation.)

The Philippines previously signed a deal with  Pfizer-BioNTech to purchase 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which is expected to be delivered in August. 

It can be recalled in April that Philippine health authorities halted the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines for people aged below 60 due to reports of blood clots with low platelet counts among recipients of the COVID-19 jabs. The vaccination using AstraZeneca was later continued after the FDA found that it "outweighs benefits than risks." —KG, GMA News