Ireland should temporarily halt its use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab after some reports of blood clots in vaccinated people, health authorities say.
The call came after a review from the Norwegian Medicines Agency showed four new cases of “serious blood clotting in adults” had occurred after the jab.
Ireland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said following the report and discussions with the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) had recommended “the administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca be temporarily deferred from this morning, Sunday 14th March”.
He added: “It has not been concluded that there is any link between the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and these cases.
“However, acting on the precautionary principal, and pending receipt of further information, the NIAC has recommended the temporary deferral of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca vaccination programme in Ireland.
“The NIAC is due to meet again this morning. A further statement will follow thereafter.”
Just two days ago the World Health Organisation said the vaccination was “excellent” and “no causal relationship had been established between the shot and the health problems reported”.
The Irish authorities have been pressing the pharmaceutical firm to speed up its supplies to the Republic.
Several other European countries temporarily suspended AstraZeneca jabs following reports of people suffering blood clots.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) reported one person in Austria was diagnosed with blood clots and died 10 days after vaccination, but it stressed there is “currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions”.
Another person was admitted to hospital in Austria with pulmonary embolism (blockage in arteries in the lungs) after being vaccinated, while one death involving a blood clot was reported in Denmark.
A 50-year-old man is also thought to have died in Italy from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), while there has been an unconfirmed report of another death in Italy.
Denmark, Norway and Iceland have said they are temporarily halting all AstraZeneca vaccinations to investigate the reports.
Italy also followed Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Lithuania in banning jabs from one particular batch of one million AstraZeneca vaccines, which was sent to 17 countries, after reports of a death.