Officials to give update on AstraZeneca use in Ireland

ireland
Officials To Give Update On Astrazeneca Use In Ireland Officials To Give Update On Astrazeneca Use In Ireland
A gloved hand holding a vial / bottle of AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine. Poto: Johan Nilsson / TT / code50090
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James Cox

Health officials are due to give an update on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Ireland later today.

It comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) expressed confidence in it.

Its use had been suspended in several countries over blood clot fears.

But the EMA yesterday found the injection is 'safe and effective.'

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn says he is hopeful the suspension will not have damaged confidence in the vaccine.

Dr Glynn said: “Will the last week pose a challenge in that regard? I have no doubt that it will, but equally I think the challenge for us and those tasked with rolling out the vaccine is to make sure that people's questions are answered clearly.”

He added: “I would hope that the majority of people, when they reflect on the past week, will see that we acted quickly and that we acted in the context of putting safety first.”

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In a press briefing yesterday, the EMA said: “We cannot rule out a definitive link between these cases and the vaccine”, adding the number of incidents of blood clots after vaccination was lower than would be expected in the general population.

Informed decision

The regulatory body said it was aware that a number of EU countries had been waiting for the announcement, adding they could now make an informed decision regarding how they proceed with the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

EMA executive director Emer Cooke said over 7 million people in the EU have now been vaccinated using the AstraZeneca vaccine and over 11 million people in the UK.

Ms Cooke told the press briefing: “The committee has come to a clear scientific conclusion.

“This is a safe and effective vaccine. Its benefits in protecting people from Covid-19, with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation, outweigh the possible risks.

“The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events, or blood clots.”

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