Negros Occidental and Bacolod City will go ahead with their purchase of AstraZeneca vaccines amid reports that some governments have halted rollouts due to blood clot fears.
Provincial Health Officer Ernell Tumimbang and City Administrator Em Ang said that health authorities in the country and the World Health Organization have not advised against the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Bacolod City has an advance purchase order for 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and Negros Occidental 100,000 doses.
Ang said they were informed that 73 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were administered in the United Kingdom alone and there are no reported deaths or serious adverse effects.
The Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have not instructed us to stop the purchase of AstraZeneca vaccines, she said.
So as of now, Bacolod will go ahead with the purchase of the AstraZeneca vaccines unless other reports come out, she said.
An AstraZeneca representative has assured them that the vaccines are safe and that LGUs with purchase contracts with the firm will be given copies of reports on the matter, Ang added.
Tumimbang said the provincial government will continue with its purchase of AstraZeneca vaccines that are needed for senior citizens.
The AstraZeneca medical director explained to them that their vaccines have not caused deaths, he said.
“I would take the risk with the AstraZeneca vaccines…we have no choice. What will we inject our senior citizens with without those vaccines?” he asked.
Health frontlines in Bacolod and Negros Occidental vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccines have not experienced any severe adverse effects so far, Ang and Tumimbang said.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan “We do not want people to panic and we would, for the time being, recommend that countries continue vaccinating with AstraZeneca.”*