MANILA (AdChoiceTV News) — The country has recorded 24 deaths following vaccination against COVID-19, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But both the FDA and the Department of Health (DOH) maintained that the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the risks.
“Out of the over one million vaccinated, we recorded 24 cases of deaths among those that received the vaccines,” FDA director general Eric Domingo disclosed at a virtual briefing yesterday.
He stressed that most or 19 of the fatalities, reported as adverse events following immunization (AEFI), were found to be “coincidental,” meaning that the cause of death was not related to vaccination and was due to other illness or causes. The majority of the fatalities had existing comorbidities.
The assessment showed that 11 of the 24 cases died of COVID-19 infection, eight from cardio-vascular disease and three from infections other than COVID-19.
The cause of death for two other cases, Domingo said, is still under investigation.
Other countries, Domingo said, also reported deaths following vaccination, but these were later found to be unrelated to inoculation.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 98 percent of the adverse events following immunization were classified as “non-serious.”
The majority of the deaths following immunization were due to COVID-19, Domingo said, while noting that cases of infection posted an alarming growth for the past weeks.
Until this time, Domingo said health experts are yet to characterize who are likely to experience rare adverse events following immunization or what are the predisposing factors.
“Adverse event can happen anytime after vaccination,” Domingo said, and it is for this reason the condition of vaccinees is closely monitored up to a year after inoculation.
Aside from the 24 fatalities, DOH said 344 other “serious” adverse events requiring hospitalization were also recorded. Of the number, 192 received AstraZeneca shots while 152 got Sinovac.
Domingo said a total of 24,330 adverse events following immunization were considered mild and “non-serious.”
Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. is expected to come up with guidelines on providing compensation for individuals who have suffered from adverse events following immunization.
Reporting by Patricia Elise Monsod / AdChoiceTV News