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Netizens get confused over the FDA’s approval of Ivermectin for compassionate use, yet cautions the use of AstraZeneca vaccine

The FDA would also approve a hospital’s application for “compassionate use” of the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have left Netizens confused after it approved Ivermectin for compassionate use and cautioned against AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The news broke early on April 8 as vaccinations for those next in line to healthcare workers were already underway.

FDA asked the Department of Health (DOH) to suspend the facilitation of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are below 60 years of age.

According to the FDA, data from European drug regulators established a link between the vaccine and unusual blood clots with low platelet count.

The cases, however, were minuscule: only 16 out of the 200 million recipients of AstraZeneca’s vaccine in Europe were able to experience this side effect.

DOH adopted the FDA recommendation, which means all vaccines available as of date are Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac.

The FDA would also approve a hospital’s application for “compassionate use” of the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin.

According to FDA director-general Eric Domingo the grant only applies to the still-unnamed hospital that will be sourcing their Ivermectin from a licensed importer.

Domingo cautioned the Netizens against looking for the said hospital as he clarifies the compassionate use the FDA granted.

Also, the regulatory board stood by its function. It prevents anyone else from distributing a drug that is not FDA-registered.

Netizens and politicians reacted to the announcements from the country’s highest food and drug regulatory boards.

Former Health Secretary and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin called the approval “a big joke.”

Garin raised the often-used World Health Organization (WHO) stance on the drug intended for animal use, apart from FDA’s contradictory statements on Ivermectin.

“WHO recommends that the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 be within the bounds of clinical trials because current evidence on it is inconclusive.”

Some lawmakers, however, lauded the move by the FDA.

Both Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera and Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor said they are glad FDA is finally taking a step in the right direction.

Defensor, in particular, thanked Domingo on behalf of the drug’s advocates. Defensor made headlines after announcing that his office would be distributing compounded Ivermectin to Quezon City residents for free.

Netizens, however, focused on the conflict between the FDA stopping the use of AstraZeneca and the approval of Ivermectin for compassionate use.

A doctor expressed his confusion and frustration on the recent FDA decisions that included the use of CoronaVac for those 60 years and above.

“Subok-subok na lang? Ganun? Ano (ang) basis? This is so frustrating!”, said Dr. ER Claudio, a doctor who specializes in ailments concerning the ears, nose, and throat.

Other Netizens were also as confused as Claudio.

However, the worst part is the knock-on effect these decisions will have on the country’s vaccination program, as highlighted by this Netizen.

Some Netizens have been calling for the use of Ivermectin as a way to treat COVID-19 symptoms.

Celebrities and politicians hopping on the bandwagon, most Filipinos are now looking towards the animal dewormer over getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

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