An Irish watchdog has reported no safety concerns after hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the State.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) said all three vaccines in use in the Republic — from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca — continue to prove safe.
The watchdog has had over 2,100 reports of side effects associated with the vaccines, with common complaints including tiredness, dizziness and headaches.
About 260,000 doses of vaccines to protect against the coronavirus have been administered in the State during the period in question.
HPRA chief executive Lorraine Nolan said reports of older people dying shortly after vaccination had been established as “coincidental adverse events”.
“We have received reports of elderly individuals with underlying health conditions unfortunately passing away in the period following vaccination,” she said.
“We have carefully reviewed these reports, and based on the information provided, there have been no safety concerns identified regarding the use of any vaccine.
“Older age and chronic underlying illness make it more likely that coincidental adverse events will occur, especially given the number of people in this cohort being vaccinated.”
The Republic’s vaccine rollout entered a new phase this week, with people over the age of 85 in the community vaccinated for the first time in GP surgeries.
It is envisaged that up to 80,000 people aged over 85 will receive a jab from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna over the next three weeks.
The locations of 37 mass vaccination centres where Covid-19 vaccines will be rolled out to the general population were also confirmed this week.
On Thursday, HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said that 95 per cent of Ireland's supply of Covid-19 vaccines has been used, with a small number held back for second doses.
Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Mr Reid said that by the end of next week a further 375,000 vaccines doses were scheduled to have arrived in the country, comprising 195,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, 150,000 from Oxford-AstraZeneca and 30,000 from Moderna.
The latest vaccination figures, up to February 15th, show a total of 280,000 jabs administered, including 182,000 first doses and 98,000 second doses.
However, the rollout has also come in for recent criticism, as health workers have expressed dissatisfaction that they are receiving the “least efficacious vaccine” available to protect against Covid-19.