By Tony Winterburn • 14 March 2021 • 11:12
Ireland's Health Authority Urges Suspending The Use Of AstraZeneca Vaccine Over Clotting Concerns. image: Pixabay
Ireland’s Health Authority Urges Suspending The Use Of AstraZeneca Vaccine Over Clotting Concerns.
Ireland’s Department of Health has this morning announced the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots linked to the jab. Dr Ronan Glynn said that the National Immunisation Advisory Committee has recommended the deferral of today’s vaccines as further investigations are carried out.
In a statement, the deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said: “This recommendation has been made following a report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency of four new reports of serious blood clotting events in adults after vaccination with Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
“It has not been concluded that there is any link between the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca® and these cases. 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.”
Niac is due to meet again today, Sunday, March 14, morning to discuss the issue.
Norway- Halts AstraZeneca vaccine use
Three health workers in Norway who had recently received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are being treated in the hospital for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets, Norwegian health authorities said on Saturday- all three individuals were under the age of 50.
Norway halted the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Thursday, March 10, following a similar move by Denmark, with Iceland later following suit. “We do not know if the cases are linked to the vaccine,” Sigurd Hortemo, a senior doctor at the Norwegian Medicines Agency told a news conference held jointly with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
The European medicine regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA,) would investigate the three incidents, Hortemo said.
“They have very unusual symptoms: bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets,” Steinar Madsen, Medical Director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency told broadcaster NRK. They are quite sick…We take this very seriously,” he said, adding that authorities had received notification of the cases on Saturday.
AstraZeneca said an analysis of its safety data covering reported cases from over 17 million vaccine doses given had shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia – having low levels of platelets. “The reported numbers of these types of events for COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the unvaccinated population,” a company spokeswoman said.
“Such trends or patterns were also not observed during clinical trials for the vaccine”, she added.
Before Denmark and Norway stopped their rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Austria stopped using a batch of the shots while investigating death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism.
The EMA said on Thursday the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks and that it could continue to be administered. Europe is struggling to speed up a vaccine rollout after delivery delays from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, even though new cases have spiked in some countries.
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