HPRA chief says AstraZeneca vaccine "absolutely safe"

ireland
Hpra Chief Says Astrazeneca Vaccine "Absolutely Safe"
A gloved hand holding a vial / bottle of AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine. Poto: Johan Nilsson / TT / code50090
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Vivienne Clarke

The chief executive of the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), Dr Lorraine Nolan has said it was her view that the AstraZeneca vaccine was “absolutely safe” and should be used in Ireland.

“The reality is we need to vaccinate people and every vaccine has a place in our programme,” she told RTÉ radio’s News at One

The very clear conclusion of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was that AstraZeneca was a safe vaccine, she added. It was important not to focus on small issues when there were still so many fatalities from Covid-19. On one day last week there had been 2,500 deaths.

Dr Nolan pointed out that there had been 25 cases of blood clotting out of 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. It had not been proven that there was any “causal association” but it was better to be prudent and cautious which was why it was important to raise awareness of side effects, she said.

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This action showed there was transparency in the whole process.

The regulatory position differed from country to country, she said. There were possibly other medical reasons for the clots that had been associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr Nolan said that NIAC’s advice to pause the AstraZeneca vaccine had been prudent and that the current advice remained unchanged that MRNA vaccines should be used for the over 70s, but that could change in time, she said.

There had been limited data at the time of that decision (nor to use AstraZeneca for the over 70s), but that was changing and they were seeing ‘real world’ results.

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