AstraZeneca vaccine will be used on adults aged 18 to 70 in Ireland.
A statement from Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn has been issued on the AstraZeneca vaccine.
On Sunday, 14 March, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommended the temporary deferral of the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca following a report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency of cases of serious, rare thromboembolic (clotting) events, including some complicated by low platelet counts.
To date, no reports of serious clotting events associated with low platelets have been received by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) in Ireland. Over 117,000 doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca have been administered in Ireland
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), through its safety committee conducted and urgent review of all blood clotting events occurring with the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca to determine if there is a possible safety risk.
The EMA’s preliminary report, concluded on 18 March, reported that the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in combating the threat of COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risk of side effects. The EMA also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots in those who receive it.
The NIAC has convened and reviewed the EMA statement in relation to COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and, following discussion with representatives from the HPRA, the National Coagulation Centre and counterparts across the EU, have recommended that the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca should be recommenced.
Based on the assessments undertaken by the EMA and the NIAC, and the recommendations of the latter, I have recommended the recommencement of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca programme.
The HSE will now work to recommence the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca