Reports of Side Effects Halt COVID Vaccine Use in Ireland

Officials cited reports of blood clotting in Norway
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2021 9:00 AM CDT
Ireland Halts Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine
Medical staff display a container of Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine   (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Reports of a potentially serious side effect have prompted Ireland health officials to suspend the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The country's National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended the move over the weekend as a "precautionary step" after reports of serious blood clotting events emerged in Norway, per the BBC. The Republic of Ireland joins other European countries including Denmark who've suspended use of the vaccine in the wake of "thromboembolic events" first reported in Austria. While no doubt startling for the 110,000 who've received the vaccine in Ireland, officials were careful to frame the move as temporary pending further information from Norway.

Norwegian health authorities reported that four people under the age of 50 who'd recently received the vaccine were being treated for bleeding, blood clots, and a low count of blood platelets. In a statement obtained by Ireland public media, AstraZeneca said that an analysis of more than 17 million doses administered has shown no evidence of an increased risk of clotting. "In fact, the reported numbers of these types of events...are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the unvaccinated population," the statement said.
(Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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