13 experience 'common, minor' side effects after Sinovac vaccination

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 2) — Thirteen out of over 700 people incoculated with the vaccine made by Chinese firm Sinovac experienced minor side effects, the Departmnt of Health said on Tuesday.

Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said 756 medical frontliners and officials were vaccinated on the first day of the rollout on Monday. Of this number, only 13 showed adverse events following immunization.

There is no cause for alarm, according to Vergeire, since they only experienced common side effects, such as increase in blood pressure, pain in injection site, rashes, headache, and nausea.

"All of them are common and all of them are minor," she said in a media briefing. "Wala sa kanilang na-admit. Lahat sila ay inobserbahan, minanage, at after a while they were all sent home."

[Translation: No one was admitted in hospitals. They were observed, managed, and later sent home.]

The official added they have validated that the symptoms were mostly caused by anxiety prior to the vaccination.

In a separate interview during the Laging Handa briefing, Vergeire said most of those vaccinated were healthcare workers.

Meanwhile, in his regular briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said most of the vaccinations were caried out at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (353), followed by the Philippine General Hospital (128), Philippine National Police General Hospital (110), Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium or Tala Hospital (85), V. Luna Medical Center (60), and the Lung Center of the Philippines (20).

The national vaccination drive was kickstarted on Monday in six hospitals in Metro Manila. It will be rolled out in other hospitals in the regions in the coming days.