GP says people will be anxious about AstraZeneca but vaccine refusal is "tiny"

Gp Says People Will Be Anxious About Astrazeneca But Vaccine Refusal Is "Tiny" Gp Says People Will Be Anxious About Astrazeneca But Vaccine Refusal Is "Tiny"
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Sweden Operations offices outside Sodertalje in Sweden, March 16, 2021. Photo: Pontus Lundahl / TT code 10050
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Vivienne Clarke

The chair of the Irish Medical Organisation’s GP committee, Dr Denis McCauley, has expressed his relief that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given approval for the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine which had been paused for a week.

Dr McCauley said he expected that the Health Products Regulatory Authority in Ireland will look at the EMA research and will pass the vaccine for use in Ireland.

A lot of people were anxious to get the vaccine, while some will be cautious over reports of side effects, but the amount of vaccine refusal in Ireland was “tiny” he said.

Most people were more worried about the effects of Covid although the pause will have caused some anxiety about the vaccine, he said.

High risk groups

Dr McCauley added that GPs were continuing to vaccinate the over-70s cohort with MRNA vaccines and were ready to commence vaccinating high risk groups such as those with diabetes, respiratory ailments and obesity using the AstraZeneca vaccine.


“We are in discussions with the HSE on how best to do this.” He anticipated that hospitals would commence vaccinating the remaining frontline workers and high risk patients (Cohort 4) with AstraZeneca within the next week and then GPs could start after that.

Dr McCauley also cautioned about easing restrictions too soon, pointing out that restrictions had been lifted too soon last December.

The number of cases of Covid needed to be lower and the number of people vaccinated needed to be higher before restrictions could be lifted, he said.

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