Ireland temporarily suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

(Aljazeera) – Health minister says ‘precautionary step’ taken after reports of blood clots in several adults who received the shot in Norway.

Ireland has temporarily suspended the rollout of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine following reports of blood clots in adults who received the shot in Norway.

Irish health minister Stephen Donnelly said in a tweet on Sunday the decision was “based on new information from Norway that emerged late last night”, adding that this was a “precautionary step”.

Three health workers in Norway who had recently received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine were being treated in hospital for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets, its health authorities said on Saturday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has backed the use of the vaccine and said no causal link has been established between the use of the vaccine and clotting.

Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) had earlier recommended the temporary deferral pending the receipt of more information from European regulators in the coming days.

AstraZeneca on Sunday said it had conducted a review of people vaccinated with its COVID-19 vaccine which has shown “no evidence” of an increased risk of blood clots.

The review covered more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union and United Kingdom.

“A careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union and UK with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country,” the statement said.

Some 570,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Ireland to date, according to government data last updated on Wednesday.

 

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