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Ireland suspends AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot reports in Norway

Health official says that while there’s no conclusive link between vaccine and cases, temporary hold put in place as precaution; Denmark, Norway, Iceland have taken similar steps

A health worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 to a patient inside the convention center known as 'La Nuvola,' The Cloud, in Rome, Italy, on March 10, 2021. (AP/Andrew Medichini)
A health worker administers a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 to a patient inside the convention center known as 'La Nuvola,' The Cloud, in Rome, Italy, on March 10, 2021. (AP/Andrew Medichini)

LONDON — Irish health officials on Sunday recommended the temporary suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of serious blood clotting after inoculations in Norway.

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer, said the recommendation was made after Norway’s medicines agency reported four cases of blood clotting in adults after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said that while there was no conclusive link between the vaccine and the cases, Irish health officials are recommending the suspension of the vaccine’s rollout as a precaution. Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic authorities have taken similar precautionary steps.

AstraZeneca said in a statement Sunday that it “would like to offer its reassurance on the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine based on clear scientific evidence.”

“The safety of the public will always come first,” the British-Swedish biopharmaceutical company said, adding that it is “keeping this issue under close review, but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause.”

The company said that a review of safety data of more than 17 million people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine in the European Union and the UK “has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country.”

The World Health Organization and the European Union’s medicines regulator have previously said that there was no link between the shot and an increased risk of developing a clot.

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