AstraZeneca insists Covid vaccine is safe after Ireland suspends use

AstraZeneca has insisted its coronavirus vaccine be safe after blood clot concerns caused Ireland to become the youngest European country to suspend use of the jabs.

A review of the available safety data on more than 17 million people vaccinated in the UK and the EU found no evidence of increased risk, the pharmaceutical company said.

People across the UK are still being told to get their vaccine.

The number of reported cases of blood clots is fewer than the hundreds of cases expected in the general population, said Ann Taylor, AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer.

The statement came after Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said Sunday that the use of the Oxford / AstraZeneca push was being temporarily suspended as a “precautionary measure”.

The decision followed reports of severe clots in adults in Norway with four people in the hospital.

Several other European countries have temporarily stopped using the Oxford / AstraZeneca pushes.

The UK Medicines Agency said the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause of the blood clots.

Dr. Phil Bryan, Vaccine Safety Director for the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority, said: “We are aware of the action in Ireland.

“We are scrutinizing the reports, but given the large number of doses given and the frequency with which blood clots can occur naturally, the available evidence does not suggest that the vaccine is the cause.

“People should still get their Covid-19 vaccine when prompted.”

AstraZeneca said its review found no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or thrombocytopenia in any particular age group, gender, batch, or country.

Dr. Taylor said: “Around 17 million people in the EU and the UK have now received our vaccine and the number of reported blood clot cases in this group is less than the hundreds that would be expected in the general population.

“The nature of the pandemic has drawn heightened awareness in individual cases and we go beyond standard safety monitoring practices for approved drugs in reporting vaccination incidents to ensure public safety.”

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