| 12.9°C Dublin

Unusual blood clots reported in several Irish people who got AstraZeneca vaccine

60- to 64-year-olds are offered the vaccine on HSE portal from today

Close

A medical worker prepares a dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Antwerp, Belgium. Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman

A medical worker prepares a dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Antwerp, Belgium. Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman

A medical worker prepares a dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Antwerp, Belgium. Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman

A number of unusual blood clots have been reported in Ireland among people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The vaccine was recently confined to use in people over 60 in Ireland following as assessment by the European Medicines Agency which found a probable link between the jab and unusual blood clots with low blood platelets.

It was previously administered to health staff and also to a number of people at very high risk from Covid-19 due to an underlying illness.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), which polices medicines in this country, said as of April 19 a very small number - fewer than five - blood clotting events in combination with low platelets were reported.

"In these cases the individuals concerned sought medical attention, received specialist medical care and are reported to be responding well to treatment," it said in its latest update on Covid-19 vaccine side effects.

In recent weeks it was reported a case involving a 40-year-old woman in Dublin who got the vaccine and developed a clot was being investigated.

She was treated successfully in the Mater Hospital.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

The HPRA received 29 reports in all of blood clotting-type events in people who got the vaccine to April 19.

However, it said that in blood clots without low platelets the vast majority describe clots typically seen in the general population such as those which occur in the legs and lung.

In many the individuals had risk factors for clotting.

Similar types of blood clotting, without low platelets have been observed with mRNA vaccines, with 41 such reports up to April 19.

Up to April 15, the HPRA received 6,616 reports of suspected side effects to various Covid-19 vaccines out of 814,470 first doses and 341,129 second doses administered.

It said that all vaccines have some side effects and the vast majority are mild to moderate in nature.

These need to be continuously balanced against the benefits of preventing Covid-19 illness.

The HPRA said it received reports based on suspicion of a side effect from a vaccine but it does not mean it was the cause.

The most regularly reported suspected side effects are chills, fever, tiredness, dizziness, headache, muscle pain and nausea.

The HSE portal for people aged 60 to 64 inviting them to apply for a Covid-19 vaccine opens today. It will begin with people age 64 and work downwards in the coming days.

They will all be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine only.

The second dose is given three months after the first.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is currently looking at the latest data around the vaccine.

It met yesterday to assess the use here of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is made with the same technology and has also been linked to similar blood clots.

More information is due from the European Medicines Agency today on AstraZeneca, indicating the risk of blood clot according to age.

The recent review found that all cases happened in people under 60.

It meant the vaccine here was confined to people over 60, but over-70s were already receiving either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

In the review of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the European Medicines Agency found most clots occurred in veins in the brain – a condition known as CVST.

Some occurred in other veins including those to the abdomen.

The European Medicines Agency concluded that in the case of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson the chances of a blood clot were very small and their benefit outweighed the risk.

It is not clear what is causing the clotting.



Related topics


Most Watched





Privacy