PH to resume use of AstraZeneca vaccines for people below 60

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 19) — The Philippines is once again allowing the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for people under the age of 60 following a review of blood clot reports in other countries.

The Department of Health has approved the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration to lift the suspension order, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo on April 15 said he sent the recommendation letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III suggesting that the government push through with the vaccine’s use.

Domingo reiterated the product’s "benefits outweigh the risks.”

The DOH and DFA issued an order on April 8 to temporarily stop giving this brand of vaccine after European drug regulators found a link between the coronavirus shot and a few cases of unusual blood clots with low platelet count.

The Health Department previously reported there have been no reports of unusual blood clotting among Filipinos who received the vaccines developed by the British-Swedish manufacturer.

The Philippines has used up almost all of the 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca that arrived in the country in March.

Additional AstraZeneca doses — to be used as second dose — may arrive in the country by May or early June from COVAX.