The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended the resumption of the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after its distribution was paused over blood clotting concerns.

In a Palace briefing, FDA chief Eric Domingo said the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks, citing the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Dumating na po iyong mga recommendation ng WHO, ng vaccine expert panel, noong atin pong adverse event committee at saka po ng mga expert natin at unanimous naman lahat ‘no na ang AstraZeneca, iyong paggamit niya bilang bakuna, overall ay talagang the benefit outweighs the known and the potential risks,” he said.

“Dahil tiningnan nga natin itong mga possibility ng mga blood clotting events na nakita sa Europa, dito sa atin wala pang nakita iyong Adverse Events Committee natin ‘no na similar cases,” he added.

In Europe, one in 1 million AstraZeneca vaccinees develop blood clotting issues, which had caused fears over the British vaccine.

Blood clotting concerns prompted the Department of Health to halt the use of AstraZeneca vaccines among people aged 60 and below last week. The stoppage lasted 7 days.

The country received 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the Covax facility so far. Only 31,912 were yet to be administered, the National Vaccination Operations Center said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro