Ireland suspends use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
The move has been described as "precautionary" after reports from Norway of serious blood clotting events in adults
The Republic of Ireland have suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The move was recommended by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and has been described by Irish Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly as a "precautionary step" after reports from Norway detailed serious blood clotting in some recipients.
The decision to temporarily suspend use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was based on new information from Norway that emerged late last night. This is a precautionary step. The National Immunisation Advisory Comm meets again this morning and we’ll provide an update after that
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) March 14, 2021
Health authorities in the Scandinavian country said three health workers who had recently had the vaccine were undergoing treatment in hospital for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets.
Ireland's suspension is temporary, pending the receipt of more information from European regulatory bodies in the days ahead.
They join Norway, Denmark and Iceland in suspending the use of the vaccine. Austria also stopped using a batch last week to allow time to investigate a death from coagulation disorders.
Scientists have said there is no link between the vaccine and blood clotting, a view echoed by the World Health Organisation.
Ronan Glynn, Ireland's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said authorities had received reports of clotting which were similar to cases seen elsewhere in Europe - though nothing quite as serious as the cases reported in Norway.
"It may be nothing, we may be overreacting and I sincerely hope that in a week’s time that we will have been accused of being overly-cautious," Glynn told RTE.