Over 14,000 doses of delivered J&J vaccines await Niac instruction

Over 14,000 doses of delivered J&J vaccines await Niac instruction

Approximately 14,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine delivered last week must wait until guidance is issued by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) following blood clotting incidents reported in the US.

Earlier this week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the benefits of the J&J vaccine out-weigh the risks following a review of the shot, after US regulators called for its use to be paused while a connection between the jab and blood clots was examined.

Following its review, the EMA recommended that a warning should be placed on the vaccine's label, warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets.

Niac are due to consider the EMA's findings before announcing what measures will be taken here regarding the vaccine's use.

Meanwhile, updated figures from the Department of Health show the first delivery of the J&J vaccines arrived in Ireland last week, in addition to 14,400 doses of the AstraZeneca shot.

Carrying the weight of Ireland's vaccine rollout, 136,890 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab arrived in the State last week, increasing from the 135,720 doses received the previous week.

Up to the end of March, Pfizer had delivered 737,100 doses to Ireland, bringing their overall figure up to April 16th to 1,009,710.

The Department's figures show AstraZeneca, who recently confirmed delays to deliveries over the coming weeks, supplied 340,800 doses up to the end of last month, while Moderna delivered 109,200.

The statement added 95 per cent of available vaccines, excluding shots which must be held back for second doses, are being administered within one week of arrival in the State, and as of March 19th, 1,219,487 doses of the vaccines had been given.

Despite continuing supply issues, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Wednesday it is still the goal to have 80 per cent of adults vaccinated by June.

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