A member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has said Ireland was 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' over its decision to pause use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The safety committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said it will "further review" the AstraZeneca drug on Tuesday, with a decision expected on Thursday.
It comes after several countries, including Ireland, temporarily suspended the rollout of the drug following information from the Norwegian Medicines Agency of reports of "serious blood clotting events" in a number of adults after the vaccine had been administered.
Dr Mary Favier is former president of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and a member of NPHET.
She told Newstalk Breakfast: "This is a pause, not a cancellation - and it's an abundance of caution as NIAC said - it's just being careful.
"The value of a vaccination programme is very clear, the benefits of AstraZeneca are very clear: however we have to be cautious, we have to be safe - and much better that we pause for two or three days and say 'OK, we have to ask these questions and then start again' than go ahead and have errors and mistakes and people's lives being threatened."
Dr Favier said the blood clots being referred to are 'exceptionally rare'.
"What's happened is there's an unusual group of blood clots - now these particular type of blood clots are exceptionally rare, and I as a general practitioner would not expect to see one within my professional lifetime.
"So when four of them happen together in Norway, it was quite reasonable that there was a pause and said 'That's a bit odd, let's have a look at that'.
"Now by Friday, we could say 'That was all a fuss about nothing' and we go again.
"But it's better that people feel that the evidence is transparent, that it's honest, that it's clear.
"AstraZeneca has been a really good vaccine in terms of how effective it is - but we also need to know that it's fully safe, and that's what happening".
Asked if this has undermined vaccine confidence, regardless of the EMA outcome, Dr Favier said her patients are ready to take the jab again.
"You're somewhat damned if you do and damned if you don't - but I think people in the greater scheme of things would prefer to know that it was safe and they were reassured.
"It's been very hard for people: I've had patients who were scheduled this week with AstraZeneca... who had their vaccine cancelled [and] obviously very upset.
"But have also told me that if it gets the go-ahead again on Friday, they'll line up for their scheduled appointment next week if they can.
"We do need to maintain vaccine confidence, but I think as a general rule we need to be cautious".