The Taoiseach says he’s hopeful the country will be able to ‘catch up’ quickly with vaccinations after the 'hopefully temporary' AstraZeneca vaccine pause.
Micheál Martin was speaking after health authorities yesterday decided to suspend the use of vaccine for now.
The move came in the wake of reports from Norway that four people suffered blood clots after getting the jab.
Officials have stressed the pause is a purely precautionary move, while AstraZeneca has stressed there’s no evidence linking the jab to blood clotting.
For now, the use of the vaccine has been suspended in several European countries - including France, Germany and Italy as of today - while the EMA investigates the reports from Norway.
The EU medicines regulator is expected to give its assessment this week.
Speaking on US news network CNBC today, Mr Martin said the pause is 'unwelcome', but was a decision made out of an 'abundance of caution'.
He said: “We hope this is temporary - we anticipate it will be temporary.
“[We hope] we can catch up fairly quickly in terms of the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccines.”
He said all three vaccines in use here have been “very effective” so far, and that the impact of the vaccination programme has been “quite dramatic” among vulnerable groups.
Earlier, Trinity Professor Luke O’Neill said the decision to suspend the AstraZeneca vaccine is “very disturbing” and will put thousands of vulnerable people at risk.
He claimed that officials are “not trusting the science” - and that there’s ‘no evidence of any kind’ that the jab is causing blood clots.