Ireland suspends use of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine over blood clot fears

Decision based on report from Norway about a number of ‘serious blood-clotting events after vaccination’

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Ireland suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday citing reports of blood clotting after inoculations in Norway.

Irish health minister Stephen Donnelly said the decision was based on information supplied by Oslo late on Saturday night.

Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended pausing use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution after “a report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency of four new reports of serious blood clotting events in adults after vaccination”.

“It has not been concluded that there is any link between the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca and these cases,” Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer, Ronan Glynn, said.

“However, acting on the precautionary principle, and pending receipt of further information, the NIAC has recommended the temporary deferral of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca vaccination programme in Ireland.”

Of the 570,000 vaccine doses of Covid-19 administered in Ireland, 109,000 were AstraZeneca shots.

“Analysis of our safety data that covers reported cases from more than 17 million doses of vaccine administered has shown no evidence of an increased risk” of blood clot conditions, an AstraZeneca spokesman said.

“In fact, the reported numbers of these types of events for Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are lower than the number that would have occurred naturally in the unvaccinated population.”