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Ireland suspends AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot reports

Irish health officials on Sunday recommended the temporary suspension of the AstraZeneca 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.

He said while there was no conclusive link between the vaccine and the cases, Irish health officials were 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.

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.

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

Emergency use listing

In another development, the World Health Organization granted an emergency use listing Friday for the coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, meaning the one-dose shot can now theoretically be used as part of the international COVAX effort to distribute vaccines globally, including to poor countries without any supplies.

In a statement, the UN health agency said ample data from large clinical trials showed the J&J vaccine was effective in adult populations. The emergency use listing came a day after the European Medicines Agency recommended the shot be given the green light across the 27-country European Union.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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