Thursday, April 08, 2021

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will meet today to discuss recent findings by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, the EMA announced “unusual blood clots” had been associated with the AstraZeneca jab, recommending they be listed as a possible side effect.

However, the EMA reiterated the benefits posed by the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 outweigh the risks of side effects on the recommendation of their expert committee on the safety of medicines.

Following the EMA’s announcement, individual countries are now considering the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with its use being halted in Norway and Denmark, while people under 30 in the UK are being offered an alternative vaccine.

Nphet will discuss the implications of the EMA’s findings when they meet later this morning, while the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) will also consider if updated guidance is required for the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine here.

On Wednesday evening, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) confirmed it has received 18 reports of blood clots or events possibly associated with blood clots following the use of the AstraZeneca shot in the State.

A statement from the HPRA said: “None are of the nature of the very rare blood clots of concern. An additional small number of cases describing low platelet counts have been received and follow up is ongoing to rule out the presence of blood clots.”

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