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Covid-19: Ireland suspends use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

745ng | March 14, 2021

The use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been suspended in the Republic of Ireland.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommended the move following reports of serious blood clotting events in adults in Norway.

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In a tweet, the Irish Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said it was a “precautionary step”.

The World Health Organisation has said there was no link between the jab and an increased risk of developing a clot.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it was aware of the suspension in Ireland and was “closely reviewing reports”.

“But given the large number of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause,” a spokesperson said.

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland said it would continue with its vaccine programme after taking guidance from the MHRA.

On Friday, the World Health Organisation said countries should not stop using the vaccine over fears it causes blood clots as there is no indication this is true.

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More than 110,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Ireland, which is about 20% of all doses given to date.

Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said new information had been received from the Norwegian Medicines Agency on Saturday night and that, while there is no conclusion that there’s a link to the AstraZenica vaccine, the decision to suspend the vaccine programme came from “an abundance of caution”.

He told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that there have been no reports of clotting events in Ireland similar to those seen in Norway and that there should still be full confidence in the vaccine programme.

Written by 745ng

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