AstraZeneca vaccine

  • The Health Minister says the first batch of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will arrive in Ireland this weekend with 21,600 doses.

    The rollout to all over 70s by the end of March is now in doubt after new advice to give people in that age group the Pfizer or Moderna jab.

    They are more difficult to store and transport - with plans being worked on for centres where multiple GPs can administer doses.

    Dr Denis McCauley from the Irish Medical Organisation doesn't think it will delay the rollout too much.

  • The administration of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland has been temporarily suspended.

    The National Immunisation Advisory Committee says it's made the decision following new information from the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

    It relates to four new reports of serious blood clotting events in adults after vaccination with AstraZeneca.

    In a statement, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer says it's not been concluded there's any link between the jab and these cases.

    But Dr Ronan Glynn says as a precaution, the AstraZeneca vaccination programme here will be deferred pending futher information.

    NIAC is due to meet again this morning.

  • A Castlerea-based GP believes public health officials are being "over-cautious" in their decision not to give the Astra Zeneca to people under the age of 60.

    Dr Greg Kelly says the incidence of blood clots related to the vaccine are extremely low, and every medicine carries some risk of side effects.

    Dr Greg told Midwest News that he understands people's confusion over the AstraZenica vaccine, but says he would have no fear of receiving it himself, as its benefits far outweigh any risks involved....


  • The European Medicines Agency will meet later to decide whether any extra precautions are needed to use the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19.
    A dozen countries stopped using it as a temporary precaution following a small cluster of blood clotting cases which emerged last weekend.

    Ireland's vaccines board called a halt to the use of the AstraZeneca product here on Sunday after the European Medicines Agency launched a rapid review.

    It followed a notification from Norway that four patients who had received it later suffered blood clots in the brain, one of whom died.

    It means 30-thousand vaccine doses which would have been administered this week remain in storage.

    The EMA says "many thousands" of Europeans develop blood clots every year naturally.

    It says the number which took place after people got the AZ shot are no higher than expected, and the protection it offers against Covid-19 far outweighs the risk of any side-effects.

    Its safety committee will meet later this morning to make a final decision on whether any extra precautions need to be taken.

    It'll brief the press on its findings this afternoon.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's defended the safety of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine - as UK regulators apparently consider restricting it in young people.

    That's because of continuing fears over blood clots.

    The head of vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency says it's becoming "increasingly difficult" to rule out a link between the jab and clots.

    But medical microbiologist Professor Paul Hunter says NOT being inoculated is a potentially dangerous option.

  • The European Medicines Agency says the Astra Zeneca covid vaccine is safe and effective.

    It follows a meeting of Europe's health regulator to review the data on blood clots developed by a small number of people in Europe after they were vaccinated.

    The use of the jab was suspended in a number of countries, including Ireland as a result.

    The EMA could not definitively rule out a link with particular blood clotting and will start an awareness campaign.

    However the Executive Director of the EMA, Emer Cooke, reiterated the organisation's view that the benefits of the jab outweigh the risks of side effects.

  • The HSE has confirmed the majority of AstraZeneca clinics have been cancelled for the rest of the week.

    However, it says a small number will continue for certain people over the age of 60.

    It follows NIAC's recommendation that the vaccine be used for people in their 60s only, due to rare blood clotting.

    Meanwhile the roll-out of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to Ireland has been delayed as the company examines reports of rare blood clots.

    Use of the jab was suspended in the US as they examine 6 cases among the 6.8 million doses already given.


  • Health officials have urged people to take the AstraZeneca vaccine if offered, which will be used again in Ireland from today.
    The jab was suspended due to fears of its links to blood clotting.
    That decision was reversed yesterday following a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.
    NIAC chair Professor Karina Butler says the suspension was needed to make sure the clotting reports were not a major issue.

  • Ireland is to resume using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

    The National Immunisation Advisory Committee is recommending the temporary suspension be lifted, and that it be used on everyone over 18.

    The Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says administration of the vaccine will begin this weekend.

    The European Medicines Agency yesterday found the jab is 'safe and effective', after it examined concerns of a link to blood clots.

    The Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn says people should have no concerns about getting the vaccine.

  • The National Immunisation Advisory Committee is to look at whether age restrictions should be placed on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    It's meeting today after the European Medicines Agency listed rare blood clots as a rare side effect.

    Health officials say the benefits of getting the injection still outweigh the risks.

    The UK has decided to offer under 30s an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the very rare complications.

    Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says the EMA hasn't made a recommendation on that...

  • Further changes to the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out plan are expected, as health officials meet this afternoon.

    It's expected the National Immunisation Advisory Committee will recommend AstraZeneca be used only for over-60s amid concerns about rare blood clots.

    That would require significant changes to the existing age-based vaccination plan.

    However, just one in five vaccines due to arrive into the country over the next three months are from AstraZeneca.

  • The National Public Health Emergency Team will discuss a link between very rare blood clotting and the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine when it meets later.

    The European Medicines Agency has said it should be listed as a possible side effect, however stressed the benefits of the injection continues to outweigh the risk.

    The National Immunisation Advisory Committee is considering the findings, and whether new advice needs to be issued on the matter.

    The UK are to offer alternative vaccines to under 30s due to the risk, while its use is suspended in Norway and Denmark.

  • The HSE confirmed today that its advice is that people over 70 should get the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, rather than the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    The first of the 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due in a few weeks were expected to be used by GPs to begin vaccinating older people in mid-February, starting with those aged over 85. It’s rollout is simpler as it does not need to be stored in very cold conditions.

    The AstraZeneca vaccine will now be reserved for younger people.

    The HSE is acting on advice from the European Medicines Agency, via the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

    Recently, German health authorities decided not to use the AstraZeneca vaccine in those over 65 due to concerns about efficacy


  • The Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved for use in people over the age of 50.

    Cabinet ministers signed off on the move this morning following advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

    The single-shot Johnson and Johnson jab can also be used for under-50s when other vaccines are not available.

    Meanwhile, women between 14 and 36 weeks pregnant are to be offered faster access to a Covid vaccine following new advice.

    Health minister Stephen Donnelly says officials are now working out when they can get the vaccine.......

  • People waiting for a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can expect to be vaccinated before mid-July.

    The HSE says it expects that the remaining 450,000 people, waiting for their second dose,  will receive the jab within 5 weeks.

    The health service executive is  introducing advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, to reduce dose intervals from 12 to 8 weeks.


    Meanwhile, 283 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed yesterday evening by the Department of Health.

    60 people are currently in hospital with the virus, that's down 7 since the previous day, with 23 of these patients in ICU.