The different brands of COVID-19 vaccine available in the market are currently being inoculated worldwide. This gives hope that the end of the pandemic will come sooner rather than later. However, more countries are calling for the stop of usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to Philippine Daily Inquirer, a dozen countries, which includes France, Germany and Italy have suspended the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine, because of fears over blood clots and other possible harmful side effects. The Netherlands is the latest country to follow suit within the continent, and the list just keeps getting longer. Outside of Europe, Thailand is the first country to stop the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In response, AstraZeneca said that a review of safety data of people vaccinated with its COVID-19 vaccine has shown no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots as per Reuters.com.
On the local front, Philippine health authorities said that they saw no reason to halt using the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country despite the suspension of inoculations in other countries according to ABS-CBN News. So far, the Philippines has received 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.
The health ministry and the country’s food and drug administration said in a joint statement, “At present, the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration emphasizes that there is no indication for the Philippines to stop the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines.” They also added that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was developed at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. As per the World Health Organization or WHO, this particular vaccine has an efficacy of 63.09% against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Longer dose intervals within the 8 to 12 weeks range are associated with greater vaccine efficacy.