The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday that over 2.45% or 24,698 out of more than 1 million Filipinos vaccinated against COVID-19 reported experiencing side effects or adverse event following immunization (AEFI).
FDA chief Eric Domingo said 17,654 AEFI received AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine while 7,044 received Sinovac’s CoronaVac.
A total of 24,330 cases were non-serious, 344 were serious reactions not involving death, and 24 cases involving death.
The most common reported side effects were fever, headache, pain at the vaccination site, muscle pains, and increased blood pressure.
Meanwhile, serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccine would require hospital admission, involves death or a life-threatening reaction, and causes significant disability or birth defects and fetal malformations.
The FDA chief clarified that the National AEFI Committee classified 19 of the 24 deaths as “coincidental” or not caused by the COVID-19 vaccines. All other fatalities are still undergoing validation.
Domingo added that 11 deaths were caused by COVID-19, eight patients suffered a heart attack or stroke, three died from infectious diseases other than COVID-19, and two cases are still under review.
Only 2.45% of Pinoys vaccinated vs COVID-19 report side effects: FDA
Ten of those who died were given CoronaVac and 14 received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Although nakakalungkot po na siyempre may nakita tayo na mga ganitong kaso, ang evaluation naman po natin (Although we are sad to hear such cases, what our evaluation found) is these [are] independent and most of them are not related to the vaccination and that definitely [in] vaccination, the benefits outweigh the risk,” he said.
“It takes at least two to three weeks after the second dose bago po talaga ma-maximize ang inyong protection kaya wag po tayong magpapabaya, mag-ingat pa rin po right after vaccination,” he added.
(It takes at least two to three weeks after the second dose to maximize protection so let’s not be complacent and continue being vigilant right after vaccination.)
On Thursday, 500,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine arrived in the country.
The first batch of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V is also set to arrive on Sunday.