Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.31 19 Mar 2021


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Most of the 30,000 people affected by the AstraZeneca pause could be vaccinated next week, according to the HSE.

Health officials are due to give an update on the use of the jab in Ireland later today.

Ireland was one of a number of countries that suspended its use over reports of a small number of patients suffering blood clots after being vaccinated.

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Following a review of the cases the European Medicine’s Agency yesterday concluded that the vaccine is “safe and effective for use.”

Confidence

Speaking at last night’s COVID-19 briefing, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said he remains hopeful the suspension will not have damaged confidence in the jab.

“Will the last week pose a challenge in that regard? I have no doubt that it will,” he said.

“But equally, the challenge for us and for those tasked with rolling out the vaccine is to make sure that people’s questions are answered clearly.

“I would hope that the majority of people, when they reflect on the past week, will see that we acted quickly and we acted in the context of putting safety first.”

AstraZeneca

He said health officials would consult with their European counterparts overnight and through the morning before announcing an update today.

“Clearly I believe that the right decision was made,” he said.

“We acted swiftly and in the best interests of the population – but also in the interests of the vaccination programme.

“We got a report on Saturday night that was very concerning, very unusual and we acted on the basis of that information.

“I would hope that that in time, will be seen to have protected the vaccination programme; to have protected confidence in the vaccination programme.”

European Medicines Agency

The EMA last night concluded that the AstraZeneca jab is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clotting, although it said it can’t definitively rule out a link between the vaccine and rare clotting cases.

It said it’s investigation had shown the vaccine to be “safe and effective” and confirmed that its benefits outweigh any possible risks.

The Health Protection Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) are now discussing the recommendation.

The HPRA has said it is 'very rare' for people to develop blood clots, accompanied by low platelets, after vaccination.

It said there have been cases linked to the AstraZeneca jab in Ireland.

There are seven reports of people getting blood clots after getting the vaccine here; however, that is no more than would be expected in the unvaccinated population.

The Taoiseach has previously said he's hopeful the vaccine programme will 'catch up quickly' after the pause.


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