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Coronavirus | Ireland halts AstraZeneca shots

A medical worker holding a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine in Melun, France.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Ireland on Sunday became the latest country to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns about patients developing post-jab blood clots, as nations across the world sought to step up their COVID-19 immunisation drives.

Several countries including Denmark, Norway and Bulgaria last week paused the rollout of vaccines from the Anglo/Swedish pharma giant over fears of blood clots.

The World Health Organization has said no causal link had been established between the vaccine and blood clotting.

The manufacturer and Europe’s medicines watchdog have also insisted that the vaccine is safe.

An AstraZeneca spokesman said “an 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” in blood clot conditions.

“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.”

Shortfall in deliveries

AstraZeneca’s shot is among the cheapest available, and forms a bulk of deliveries to poorer nations under the WHO-backed Covax initiative, which aims to ensure the equitable global distribution of vaccines.

A spokesman for Ireland’s health ministry told AFP that “the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is temporarily deferred from this morning, Sunday 14th March”.

The move came after Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended suspending the rollout 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 AstraZeneca vaccine and the blood clot cases and action has been taken “pending receipt of further information”, Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Ronan Glynn said in a statement.

Norwegian officials said on Saturday that the country had “received several adverse event reports about younger vaccinated people with bleeding under the skin” after getting the vaccine shot.


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 8:15:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/coronavirus-ireland-halts-astrazeneca-shots/article34068479.ece

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