Ireland temporarily suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots in several adults who received the shot in Norway.
Irish health minister Stephen Donnelly said in a tweet on Sunday the decision was “based on new information from Norway that emerged late last night”, adding that this was a “precautionary step”.
Three health workers in Norway who had recently received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine were being treated in hospital for bleeding, blood clots and a low count of blood platelets, its health authorities said on Saturday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has backed the use of the vaccine and said no causal link has been established between the use of the vaccine and clotting.
Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) had earlier recommended the temporary deferral pending the receipt of more information from European regulators in the coming days.
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.” Here