GPs receiving calls from people who want to take AstraZeneca vaccine

ireland
Gps Receiving Calls From People Who Want To Take Astrazeneca Vaccine
Use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused.
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Vivienne Clarke

Dr Mary Favier, Covid lead for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and a member of Nphet, has said that the “rejigging” of the vaccine roll out was going to be “a significant challenge”.

“Our hearts sank yesterday” she said when GPs heard about restrictions of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but it was not unexpected as it was so similar to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr Favier told of how many GPs had been receiving calls from patients who wanted to take the AstraZeneca vaccine and were prepared “to sign on the line”.

Cautious approach

The cautious approach adopted by National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) had served the country well to date, she said. In the meantime GPs would focus on vaccinating high risk groups and there was a silver lining that those aged 60 to 69 could now be vaccinated sooner with AstraZeneca.

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Minister for Agriculture Charlie McCanalogue has said that it was expected that in the “next couple of days” there would be an outline of the revised profile of the vaccine rollout.

The Government will do “all within our power to ensure vaccinations are distributed as soon as possible”, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. Everyone was aware of the importance of the rollout and the importance that it continue as efficiently as possible.

Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson David Cullinane told Newstalk Breakfast that “the last people” who should be commenting on the Niac decision to pause use of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson restrictions were politicians.

Challenge

While the rescheduling of vaccines was going to be “a big challenge”, it was best to listen to the experts, he said.

Niac had a panel of experts who had done the research and reached a conclusion, he added. It was “the right thing” to put safety first and it was now up to the HSE to reschedule the vaccine roll out to ensure there were no delays.

The interruption of deliveries of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines and the pause in use of AstraZeneca “can’t not affect things,” Dr Denis McCauley, chairperson of the IMO’s GP sub committee told Morning Ireland.

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