A Cork GP has assured people that the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine being temporarily deferred will not impact the vaccination of those aged over 70.
It comes as the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommended that the administration of the vaccine be deferred on a temporary and precautionary basis, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation underway at EU level into four new reports of serious rare clotting events in four adults aged under 65 who had received the vaccine.
Following a new safety alert from the Norwegian Medicines Agency, NIAC met with the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and HSE representatives to consider the new information.
To date, no reports of similar events have been received by the HPRA which is in continuous dialogue with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and national medicines regulators across Europe in respect of the ongoing European review.
Dr Nuala O’Connor of Elmwood Medical Practice in Frankfield who is also the Covid-19 lead for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) said that the recommendation is “a precautionary safety measure” and that the deferral will not affect those being vaccinated by their GP.
Speaking to The Echo, she said: “There is a shortfall in the amount of Pfizer and Moderna at present which means that we are going to concentrate on getting the first dose of vaccine to everybody over 80 years of age this week and next week before vaccinating the 75 to 79-year-olds.
“Information about this shortfall was communicated to GPs on Friday night and overall the rollout of the vaccine to those aged 70 and over through general practice is still expected to be completed by the third week of May.”