The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), Ireland’s vaccine taskforce, has temporarily suspended the rollout of the AstraZeneca coronavirus jab.
The latest move in the wake of reports of blood clots in adults who received the shot.
“The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended that the administration of Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca be temporarily deferred from this morning,” Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Ronan Glynn said in a statement.
He said the recommendation has been made “on the precautionary principal” after “a report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency of four new reports of serious blood clotting events in adults after vaccination”.
Earlier, 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.”
Some 570,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Ireland to date, according to government data last updated on Wednesday.
A total of 109,000 of those doses have been manufactured by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, which developed its vaccine with Oxford University.
AstraZeneca’s shot is also among the cheapest available and forms a bulk of deliveries to poorer nations under the WHO-backed COVAX initiative, which aims to ensure the equitable global distribution of vaccines.