THE Department of Health (DOH) said 24 individuals who received coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines had died, but their deaths were “coincidental and totally unrelated to the vaccine.”
The National Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) Council also counted 344 serious adverse events such as severe allergic reactions which required hospitalization.
DOH officials stressed that the benefits of taking the vaccine far outweigh the risks.
In a statement Friday, April 23, 2021, DOH said Secretary Francisco Duque III has received his first dose as a senior citizen belonging to Priority Group A2.
“As I receive my dose of the Covid-19 vaccine today, I invite everyone to do the same, and choose to be protected. Let us all take part in protecting public health, and let us be in unison in spreading one message: that vaccines are safe, and vaccines are effective,” Duque said in the same statement.
Duque went through each step of the vaccination process. The vaccine was administered by Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo.
Of the 24 deaths among those inoculated, DOH data showed that 10 had received Sinovac vaccines while the other 14 were given AstraZeneca jabs.
In a virtual press briefing Friday, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo said 11 died from Covid-19, eight from cardiovascular/cerebrovascular diseases and three from infectious disease.
Two cases were under review. Domingo also noted that most of the mortalities had comorbidities.
"Most (19) are coincidental events, while other cases are under investigation and are subject to experts' review," he said.
Of the 344 serious adverse events, 152 were administered with Sinovac vaccines while 192 received AstraZeneca shots.
The report also showed that a total of 24,330 adverse events following immunization were reported to be non-serious, such as blood pressure increase, fever, headache, vaccination site pain, dizziness and chills.
The non-serious adverse events involved 17,448 who received AstraZeneca and 6,882 who got Sinovac.
As of April 10, DOH data showed that the 24,698 total adverse events following immunization comprised only 2.45 percent of the 1,137,534 total doses administered.
Of the total, 1,006,511 were administered as first dose and 131,023 were given as second dose. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)