In connection with the occurrence of blood clots, it is important to note that this is a treatable condition and clinical guidelines for the management of events of this nature have been developed for use in the country. The Minister of Health added that early detection of these symptoms is important and individuals who have received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are advised to immediately report any symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision after vaccination, or who experienced skin bruising or petechia beyond the site of vaccination.
The Minister of Health said that based on the available data, and taking into account the effectiveness of this vaccine in preventing COVID-19 infection especially to those at risk such as the elderly and given that the reported incidence of low blood clots/platelets is very rare, therefore the COVID-19 Vaccine Technical Committee is of the opinion that the administration of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can resume in Brunei Darussalam with the following criteria:
Due to the increased risk observed in younger individuals, and the lower risk and higher benefit ratio of the above 60 years, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered to adults above the age of 60 years.
For adults who are below the age of 60 years, who have not yet received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, they will not routinely be offered the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Subject to availability, adults aged under 60 years will be offered another vaccine such as the Sinopharm vaccine. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be used in adults aged under 60 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed consent based on an understanding of the risks and benefits, and as well as has personally requested the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
To date, there are no reports of rare clotting/low platelets events following receipt of the second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, for individuals who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should continue to receive a second dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective of age. The second dose is important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19.
Vaccination remains a safe and effective way to protect ourselves, our families, and our community from COVID-19. The Ministry of Health reassures the public that vaccine safety is the utmost priority, and measures have been put in place to minimize the risk of serious adverse events. The administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be constantly monitored from time to time by taking into account the local COVID-19 situation, as well as the latest developments on the vaccine.
Source: Radio Television Brunei