21 out of 114,000 vaccinees experienced serious side effects – DOH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 12) — More than 114,600 Filipinos— mostly healthcare workers — have been vaccinated against COVID-19 almost two weeks into the national immunization program.

The 101,827 people received CoronaVac vaccine made by Chinese drug maker Sinovac, while 12,788 people got their first dose of the vaccines manufactured by British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Out of the 114,615 who have been inoculated, 978 or only 0.85% experienced side effects, the Department of Health said on Friday. For those inoculated with CoronaVac, 872 showed minor side effects, while 85 recipeints of AstraZeneca vaccine also experienced common and minor side effects, such as body pains, high blood pressure, and rashes.

Meanwhile, 20 CoronaVac recipients and one AstraZeneca recipient had serious adverse side effects, such as chest pain or difficulty in breathing. The DOH is monitoring if the vaccines caused the adverse reaction.

"Pinagaaralan ano ang causality nito," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media briefing. "According to NAIFIC, the adverse effect monitoring committee, sa tingin nila ang iba sa nararanasan may halong anxiety o takot ng kababayan na magpabakuna baka magside effect o natakot sa karayom."

[Translation: We are studying the causality. According to the adverse effect monitoring committee, they think anxiety due to fear of side effects or needles may have caused this reaction.]

CNN Philippines correspondent Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report.