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Most of those who received AstraZeneca vaccine in Ireland were health workers; 954 side effect cases reported

DUBLIN: The World Health Organization (WHO) says at least 10 countries have now discontinued use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine has also been suspended in Ireland due to fears of health problems. Administration of AstraZeneca vaccine has also been suspended in Norway, Denmark and Iceland. At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly stated that there is no significant link between the vaccine and blood clotting.

In Norway, 117,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses were given. However, Norway reported that blood clots had been reported in four cases. Here, the vaccine is given to people between the ages of 16 and 69. Three health workers under the age of 50 who received the AstraZeneca vaccine had bleeding. The conclusion is that the blood clot is due to low platelet count in the blood.

Vaccination was discontinued in Ireland as a precaution

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the vaccination had been stopped as a precaution. Deputy CMO Dr. Glynn said it was not uncommon for people who received the COVID-19 vaccine to experience fatigue, muscle aches and fever.

Dr. Glynn advised to consult a doctor if you feel discomfort or see blue spots on the skin for more than three days after taking AstraZeneca dose.

These rare cases occur within 14 days of receiving the vaccine. The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) urged doctors and the general public to report side effects related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

HSE chief clinical officer Colm Henry, said the vaccine was discontinued for health care workers and people with health problems. Vaccinations for those over 70 years of age will continue with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Vaccination will be further slowed down

It has been pointed out that this current problem will further slowdown vaccination in countries including Ireland. As of the first week of March, one-fifth (6,13,650 out of 1,22,400) of the doses distributed in the country were AstraZeneca vaccines. The government had estimated that 21% of vaccines would be delivered from April to June. So if these vaccines cannot be used it will be a huge setback for the government. The government will have to rely more on the other three approved vaccines, and finding other alternatives will put pressure on the government.

At the end of March, the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca offered the European Union 90 million doses. It was reduced to 40 million last month due to production problems. Last week it further reduced to 30 million. Ireland is short of 45,000 doses of vaccine.

The government has already decided to reduce its dependence on the vaccine from 40% to 20% due to difficulties in the distribution of AstraZeneca. It is estimated that 250,000 vaccines will be distributed in the week from April.

AstraZeneca vaccine given to health workers in Ireland

The NIAC had recommended that Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines be given to people over the age of 70 because there was not enough evidence that the jab was effective in the elderly. Therefore, AstraZeneca vaccine was mostly given to health workers. As of March 10, 1,09,352 doses of AstraZeneca had been given to people, according to the HSE. 4,42,485 Pfizer and 18,554 modern vaccines were also given.

954 side effect cases

As of February 25, there were 954 cases of side effects associated with AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the latest report from HPRA. The most common side effects reported were headaches, muscle pain and pain in the limbs, nausea, and people feeling unwell and suffering a fever.

Change in taste, cough, breathing problems, dizziness, increased heart rate, joint pain, vomiting, tiredness, chills, feeling hot and cold, and sweating were among the less than 10% of suspected side effects. These are common side effects. Most of the problems were later resolved and no such incidents as blood clots were reported, the HPRA said.

Only four vaccines in total

Oxford-AstraZeneca is one of four approved vaccines for use against COVID-19. Other approved vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The J&J vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency last week.

AstraZeneca was approved based on its finding that the vaccine protects the body’s immune system. It also reduced hospital admissions by more than 80%.

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