Number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 stands at 360

Number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 stands at 360”

Monday, Ireland, Netherlands and Indonesia joined the growing list of countries suspending the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after three healthcare workers in Norway were treated in hospital for blood clots and low blood platelet counts shortly after receiving the AstraZeneca jab.

Along with Denmark, Norway and Ireland, Iceland has also suspended the use of the vaccine over clotting issues, while Thailand became the first country outside of Europe to do so on Friday.

Ireland: On Sunday, March 14, Ireland made a decision to temporarily suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to "maintain confidence" in its vaccine program, according to the Chairman of its National Immunization Advisory Committee.

"Around 17 million people in the European Union and United Kingdom have now received our vaccine, and the number of cases of blood clots reported in this group is lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected among the general population", said Ann Taylor, the firm's chief medical officer.

It comes as the Republic and a number of other countries temporarily paused administration of AstraZeneca doses after reports of people suffering blood clots in Europe.

Data shows that so far, a total of 589,512 jabs have been administered in the country, of which 452,927 were Pfizer (PFE) vaccines, and 117,507 were AstraZeneca and 19,078 were Moderna (MRNA).

Ireland's National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended deferring the AstraZeneca vaccine after learning of four new "serious blood clotting events" following vaccination among people in Norway. When asked about possible shortages or delivery delays, the ministry said it might postpone second doses and instead give those doses to people who still need their first shots.

But there are concerns that Korea may not have enough vaccines in time to reach its goal of vaccinating 12 million people by June.

NIAC took the decision to halt the use of the AstraZeneca jab while an investigation is carried out to determiner whether a small cluster of serious blood clot events in Norway were completely random or linked to the vaccine. Experts say that could make it hard to determine whether a vaccine shot is responsible.

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"The nature of the pandemic has led to increased attention in individual cases and we are going beyond the standard practices for safety monitoring of licensed medicines in reporting vaccine events, to ensure public safety", chief medical officer Ann Taylor said.

The professor pointed to the "huge risks" from Covid-19 for those who are unvaccinated, adding that "if we have no vaccination and we come out of lockdown in this country, we will expect tens of thousands of more deaths to occur during this year".

"Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon".

"They are not trusting the science", he said.

"At the moment, the message is absolutely clear - go and get your vaccine when offered". Austria also stopped using a particular batch last week.

The U.K. has administered more than 25 million vaccine doses - many of those being the Astra shot - without raising any alarms over clotting.

Since then, European leaders have bitterly criticised the company and cast doubt on the vaccine's efficacy while at the same time blocking some exports of doses to destinations outside the European Union.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been authorised for use in Stri Lanka.

"They do seem to be more common in women and in younger women".

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