AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the UK with Oxford University
Ireland's immunisation agency has recommended the suspension of the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine following reports of a possible link with the vaccine to blood clotting.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronan Glynn made the announcement in a statement issued by the Department of Health.
"Following new information received from the Norwegian Medicines Agency on Saturday evening 13th March and following discussions with the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended that the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca be temporarily deferred from this morning, Sunday 14th March.
"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," said the statement.
Dr Glynn said the NIAC is due to meet again on Sunday morning, March 14 after which further statement will follow.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in Ireland after it was cleared for use by the European Commission after getting the safety green light from the European Medicines Agency.
Ireland decided not to administer the two-shot vaccine to over 70s.
There have been many supply problems in obtaining doses of the jab.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) provides evidence-based advice to the Chief Medical Officer to inform policies on vaccines and immunisation in Ireland.