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'I would indeed': Taoiseach says he would take AstraZeneca jab as NPHET update due on vaccine

NPHET is expected to make recommendations to the Minister for Health later today.

Updated Mar 19th 2021, 4:30 PM

TAOISEACH MICHEAL MARTIN has said he would receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. 

Asked if he would take the vaccine after reassurances from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that it is safe and effective and not associated with a higher blood clot risk, Martin said: 

“Yes I would. I would indeed.”

Speaking in Cork today, the Taoiseach confirmed that a meeting between the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), the National Immunisation Advisory Committee and the HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority) is underway, and is currently reviewing the EMA’s findings on the AstraZeneca jab from yesterday. 

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer will lead a briefing this evening at the Department of Health, where it’s expected an update will be provided on the resumption of the stalled vaccine.  

“We’ll be deliberating between the organisations tonight and tomorrow morning, and we’ll issue an update tomorrow once we have come to a position,” said Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn last night. 

The EMA ruled yesterday that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective and that it is not associated with an increased risk of blood clots.

A number of countries across Europe, including Ireland, paused use of the vaccine in recent days following reports by the Norwegian Medicines Agency of serious events in four patients.

Officials in Ireland had said the decision to pause the use of the vaccine had been made on a precautionary principle. World Health Organization experts Wednesday recommended countries continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine, but said they were looking into its safety.

According to the most recent figures up to Monday, 620,580 vaccine doses have been administered in Ireland.

Of these, 455,182 were first doses with 165,398 people now fully vaccinated.

 

The number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 in Ireland continues to drop with 336 hospitalised cases reported this morning.

The number of people in ICU now stands at 83.

It comes amid increasing concerns about a rise in outbreaks after health officials confirmed a further 582 new Covid-19 cases last night. 

Professor Philip Nolan said that the number of cases being reported is either static or declining slowly, but raised concerns about the increased level of social contact and workplace attendance.

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According to Professor Nolan, less than one-third of transmissions are happening in a workplace setting, but the issue begins when it arrives into a household from a workplace outbreak.

With reporting by Christina Finn

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