MANILA

Flu immunization program to continue, DOH says

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DESPITE reports of deaths and adverse effects linked to influenza vaccines in South Korea, the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, said it will not suspend the flu immunization program in the country.

Beverly Ho, DOH Health Promotion Bureau director, said the flu vaccines being administered in the country are safe and there have been no reported adverse events stemming from their use.

"Our flu vaccines are safe and the national immunization program of the DOH will continue to push through as with our other vaccination activities,” Ho said in a virtual press briefing Friday.

Ho said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the flu vaccines as none of them came from South Korea or Singapore.

The health official, however, did not rule out the possibility of suspending the distribution of flu vaccines once deemed necessary.

"We will continue to monitor and issue future warnings if ever it will be needed in future instances," said Ho.

In South Korea, 59 post-flu vaccination deaths have been reported over the past two weeks.

Singapore health authorities halted the use of flu vaccines as a precautionary measure on the heels of the reports of deaths in South Korea.

Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a viral infection with some symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Although flu shots will not protect against Covid-19, officials have encouraged citizens to get vaccinated as a precautionary measure. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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