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Side effects: J&J and AstraZeneca vaccine are restricted to those over 50 in Ireland

DUBLIN: Following reports that there is a small but possible risk of blood clots in the brain, the administration of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and AstraZeneca vaccines have been limited to people over the age of 50 in Ireland.

It is learned that the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) made recommendations to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan in this regard. The final decision of the CMO will be made today.

These vaccines are given to young people only if other vaccines are not available. It can also be used by vulnerable groups such as the homeless. Many European countries have prescribed the J&J vaccine for adults only. The J&J vaccine is the only one that is available in a single dose (J&J). AstraZeneca is available in two doses.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was previously confined to those over 60 years of age. HSE has been given permission to modify it according to the availability of vaccines.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has found that the there is a possible link between J&J vaccine and rare blood clots. It is believed that the decision to raise the age limit was made because such problems are more common in young people. Avoiding these vaccines may lead to serious vaccine shortages and even negatively impact Ireland’s vaccine roll out.

The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), the drug safety group of the EMA, had recommended that the J&J vaccine be given with a warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets.

The FDA in the United States also said the roll-out of J&J vaccine can be resumed there. As of April 13, more than 7 million people in the US had received the J&J vaccine.

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