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MANILA, Apr 16 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines has asked the United States government if it could borrow some of its AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine supply, which is not yet approved for emergency use in the US, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said.

Romualdez said the Philippine government already wrote to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the White House if it could borrow some of the AstraZeneca shots.

“[B]ecause as you know, AstraZeneca, we ordered something like 17 million doses but only about 3 million have been delivered so far,” he said.

A US infectious disease official has said AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine had good efficacy, but safety concerns needed to be straightened out and it might not be needed for Americans because of supplies of other shots.

So far, three COVID-19 vaccines are approved for emergency use in the US — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Earlier, US regulators recommended pausing the use of J&J’s COVID-19 shot as they investigate rare blood clotting in six women, including one who died.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has so far received 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from COVAX facility.

The country temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on people younger than 60 years old upon the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration following reports of rare blood clots with low platelet count in some vaccine recipients abroad. However, the FDA has since urged the resumption of vaccinations using the shot. (MNS)

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