Ireland temporarily suspends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine amid reports of blood clots

Irish health officials on Sunday recommended the temporary suspension of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after reports of serious blood clotting after inoculations in Norway.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer, said the recommendation was made after Norway’s medicines agency reported four cases of blood clotting in adults after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Read more: No scientific explanation linking AstraZeneca vaccine to blood clots, Sharma says

He said that while there was no conclusive link between the vaccine and the cases, Irish health officials are recommending the suspension of the vaccine’s rollout as a precaution.

Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic authorities have taken similar precautionary steps. The World Health Organization and the European Union’s medicines regulator said earlier in the week that there was no link between the jab and an increased risk of developing a clot.

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Click to play video 'WHO says continue to use AstraZeneca vaccine as several countries temporarily pause distribution' 1:11WHO says continue to use AstraZeneca vaccine as several countries temporarily pause distribution

WHO says continue to use AstraZeneca vaccine as several countries temporarily pause distribution

The U.K.’s medicines regulator, the MHRA, said Thursday that “reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population” and that “available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause.”

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It said people should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

Read more: WHO says continue to use AstraZeneca vaccine, will investigate issues

In an interview with The Canadian Press earlier this week, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma, said there is no scientific explanation to suggest a link between the Oxford- AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and blood clots.

“There’s not a good biological explanation about why a vaccine of this type, injected into a muscle, would cause that kind of adverse event,” she told the outlet.

Sharma said Health Canada has a “really low threshold” for adverse events that could trigger a pause in the use of a vaccine and wouldn’t hesitate to do so if something warranted it.

-With files from the Canadian Press and Global News

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© 2021 The Canadian Press

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