Ireland hits pause on AstraZeneca jab over blood clot concerns

Ireland hits pause on AstraZeneca jab over blood clot concerns

"We're scrutinising all the data, particularly the fatal cases that have been reported", the head of the European Medicines Agency's health threats and vaccines strategy, Marco Cavaleri, told the European Parliament's health committee. "People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so".

Norwegian officials said on Saturday the country had reports of people "bleeding under the skin" and "severe cases of blood clots or brain haemorrhages in younger people" who had received the shot.

In the Netherlands however, the vaccine will be suspended until at least March 29 as a precautionary measure, said the Dutch government.

Health Canada has said Canada has not received any AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that were part of the batch under investigation for blood clots and Trudeau reassured Canadians that the doses in Canada are safe.

Results of AstraZeneca Plc's US Covid-19 vaccine trial are being reviewed by independent monitors, and emergency authorization could come in about a month, a top US official said on Monday.

In the U.S., which relies on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, AstraZeneca is expected to apply any day now for authorization.

"Health Canada, our experts and scientists have spent an bad lot of time making sure that every vaccine approved in Canada is both safe and effective", the prime minister told reporters in Montreal.

COVID-19 update 13 March 2021
A COVID-19 virus mutation first identified in the United Kingdom has infected a young person in Ottawa County, according to the health department.

AstraZeneca has said the vaccine has been studied extensively during Phase 3 trials, and peer-reviewed data confirmed that the jab is 'generally well-tolerated'.

The announcement will lead to delays in rolling out shots in the Netherlands, which had pre-ordered 12 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine. However, he stressed that the country must ensure efficacy, "so it is wise to pause for now".

The European Union will be able to stick to its vaccination targets this quarter despite AstraZeneca delivery delays, EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton said on Saturday. Austria also stopped using a particular batch last week. "I really hope that doesn't happen, but I think we would be foolish not to plan for that just in case, and so planning is happening", he said. After seeing some of the reports from Europe, he said he didn't want to take a chance.

Carl Theriault, a spokesperson for CIUSSS West Central Montreal, said the vaccine is safe for use.

Denmark last week became the first country to temporarily halt the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days to investigate.

The EMA said on Friday that there is no indication that the events were caused by the vaccination, a view that was echoed by the World Health Organisation.

"The way I see it, there truly have been tens and tens of millions of this vaccine administered and we haven't really seen a signal amongst the noise for this issue in many places".

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