Ireland’s vaccine taskforce on Monday recommended the AstraZeneca coronavirus jab be limited to those aged over 60, following European reviews of evidence linking the shot to rare blood clotting events.
Their decision follows those of several other European countries that have halted use of the jab among younger people following the European regulator’s ruling earlier this month that it could be linked to the rare clots.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) said the AstraZeneca vaccine “is not recommended for those aged under 60 years” after the European Medicines Agency noted “unusual clotting events” as “very rare side effects”.
NIAC Chair Karina Butler noted that the shot, which was developed in partnership with Britain’s Oxford University, was “highly effective and substantially reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 disease across all age groups”.
But the committee had opted to change its advice in light of the reviews, she added.
“NIAC realises the need to balance the significant benefits of a national vaccination programme with the very rare risk of these reported events,” she said in a statement.
“While this is an extremely rare condition, consideration must be given to the fact that it has a very high risk of death or severe outcome.
“As the risk/benefits of Vaxzevria COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine may vary by age, and as alternative COVID-19 vaccines are available, NIAC has revised the recommendations for use of this vaccine,” she added.
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