Concepcion: Businesses not backing out of deals for AstraZeneca vaccine doses

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Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said Friday that the government’s decision to temporarily halt the administration of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines on people under 60 years old does not have an effect on tripartite deals for 17 million doses which have been partially paid for.

“Everybody’s going forward because 70% of the value of these vaccines have been paid, 30% is due upon delivery and we need these vaccines badly,” Concepcion said.

The Department of Health on Thursday adopted the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation to stop vaccination using AstraZeneca jabs on those below 60 years of age due to reports of blood clot incidents in other countries. However, the European Medicines Agency had said that the chance of severe blood clotting is 1 in 100,000 and 1 in 250,000 for blood clotting paired with low platelet count. The rate is considering 20 million have been inoculated in the United Kingdom from where the vaccine originated.

Concepcion labeled the new restriction as an “overreaction”, adding that national officials were caught “flatfooted” by the announcement of the DOH. He reiterated experts’ claims that the risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine are outweighed by the benefits.

“In my opinion, the only way out of this is vaccines,” said Concepcion. “You have to take certain risks.”