About 7,467 or 3.1% of the 240,297 individuals who received the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine have reported an adverse event following immunization (AEFI), according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday.

FDA chief Eric Domingo shared that 7,331 of these AEFI’s were non-fatal while 138 were serious, with a reported case involving death. 

An AEFI could result in a life-threatening situation like anaphylaxis, in-patient and prolonged hospitalization, persistent or significant disability, congenital anomaly or birth defect, or a medically important event and even death.

Other AEFIs include pain at the body part where the vaccine was injected, chills, chest discomfort, fatigue, and headache.

Among the vaccines, 3,700 cases were from those injected with the Sinovac vaccine while 3,769 came from those injected with the AstraZeneca jab.

In Metro Manila alone, over 2,400 AEFIs were recorded where the majority of the vaccines were rolled out. 

National Adverse Events Following Immunization Committee (NAEFIC) vice chairman Dr. Rommel Lobo explained that not all cases of untoward medical events that follow immunization “have a causal relationship with the administration of a vaccine.”

“For example, you get vaccinated and then you get bitten by a dog. You should also report that as an AEFI. Whether it’s related or unrelated, there should be reporting and it should be documented,” he said.

The NAEFIC, its regional partner, and the Department of Health (DOH) assessed all reported adverse events.

The assessment involves conducting field investigations, reviewing clinical records, and compiling information about the circumstances associated with adverse events.

“Every single report of AEFI reported in the Philippines is treated with utmost seriousness… [There] is a thorough examination of every step of the vaccination process and it is done with great care,” Lobo said.

The NAEFIC also cleared that the health worker who died to Covid-19 after getting a shot of Sinovac was due to a respiratory illness and not because of the vaccine. 

Domingo advised the public to continuously observe proper health protocols even after getting a jab of the vaccine since “during the first few weeks after you are injected with a vaccine, you have no protection.”

“This is the time that your immune system is trying to develop… Your risk of developing Covid-19, getting the illness, and getting severe illness and possibly dying from it is the same as a non-vaccinated person,” he said. Ronald dela Cruz