Tag Archives: AstraZeneca

HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said there is ‘much more to fear’ from the virus than from the AstraZeneca vaccine

This morning.

On Newstalk Breakfast.

HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry said:

AstraZeneca vaccine is a really good vaccine. I know there was bad publicity, and talk and concern over what have been a very small number of cases.

I’d say to anybody aged 60-69 who has been offered the AstraZeneca vaccine: take it. You have much more to fear from the virus than you do from the vaccine.”

He said the blood clotting cases are ‘extraordinarily rare’, and has ‘rarely ever’ been reported in older people – hence why its use has been restricted in younger cohorts.



This morning


Dr Henry said officials are also looking at whether the gap between Pfizer vaccine doses can be spread out so more adults can get their first dose quicker.

He explained: “For the Pfizer vaccine, if you look at the strict licensing of the drug, you’re allowed to give the second dose up to 42 days… but the current advice we have is up to 28 days.

“The real-world evidence… is [there’s] substantial protection after the first dose. That is not an excuse not to give the second dose, but it may well give some leeway.”

Over 60s ‘have much more to fear’ from virus than from AstraZeneca vaccine – Henry (Newstalk)


This morning

Those who refuse an offer of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will go to the back of the queue , according to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

The rollout of the AstraZeneca jab has been restricted to people over the age of 60 because of concerns about a blood clotting side effect in younger people.

Via Irish Times:

Asked what would happed to people who refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland “they will have to wait until the end”.

People who refuse AstraZeneca vaccine will go to back of queue, says Varadkar (Irish Times)




This afternoon.


The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca make up some 21% of the supplies needed to meet the HSE’s target

This morning.

HSE’s target of administering initial vaccine doses to 80 per cent of the willing adult population by June is under question if the The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) rules out the use of the AstraZeneca jab over blood clotting fears.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland:

“Certainly, at the moment, if the vaccines come in as they are forecast to do, then by the end of June, four in every five adults who wants a vaccine will be in a position to be offered one. It really is a great cause for hope, particularly on a day like today, where we’re taking a cautious but important step out of the pandemic.”

When asked whether this goal will remain achievable if recommendations surrounding the AstraZeneca jab change, he responded:

‘All I’m saying is, there’s not much point in gauging “what if NIAC say this or this or this”.

‘We’ll have word from NIAC very shortly, and when we do, if the operations do need to be adjusted, we can adjust them.”

Donnelly concedes possible changes to AZ roll-out could pose ‘big operational challenge’ (Extra.ie)


Up to 80 percent of people offered the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine In Sicily refuse it out of fears over its safety, according to the southern Italian region’s president Nello Musumeci.

Public confidence in the Anglo-Swedish jab has been badly shaken by reports linking it to rare, but potentially fatal, blood clots, and by conflicting recommendations on its use.

“In Sicily, there is an 80-percent refusal rate of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Every 100 people, 80 say no,” Musumeci said late Saturday in Catania, according to multiple media reports.

‘Up to 80 percent’ in Sicily refuse AZ vaccine: president (France24)


This morning.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on Morning Ireland

Mary Wilson: “Minister, just finally, you’re on the front page of The Irish Times. ‘Donnelly queries exclusion from department analysis of tweets’. It said you looked for an analysis of tweets and retweets of you and your Twitter feed from the department, as compared to your constituency colleague, Simon Harris. You did this in January at a time when we had escalating Covid numbers. Why would you do that?”

Stephen Donnelly
: “I believe it was a piece of work that one of the team was looking at Mary. I haven’t seen the article but I believe it was one piece of work that somebody was looking at in a, in a, in a, you know, in a…”

Wilson: “The article says minister, the article says it was an analysis that you looked for and, on your behalf, the Secretary General of your department was contacting your publicity, your communications people, saying, you know, ‘we need to discuss this, there’s no reference to the minister, as you can see’. This was an analysis that you – was it an analysis that you wanted?”

Donnelly: “No, like I said Mary, it, I haven’t seen the article, it’s a piece of work that somebody did within the department. And it came up, presumably, in a FOI request, I’d have to take a look.”

Wilson: “Minister, Stephen Donnelly, thank you very much for joining us on Morning Ireland.”

What a clot.


This morning.

Via The Guardian:

Italy, Spain and Belgium have joined other European countries in restricting or recommending the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in older age groups as the EU struggles to agree common guidelines to counter expected public hesitancy.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Wednesday found a possible link between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots, although it said its benefits far outweighed the risks and did not announce any restrictions.

Spain, Belgium and Italy restrict AstraZeneca Covid vaccine to older people (The Guardian)


The HSE is, for now, continuing with its planned rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines to people with underlying health conditions that put them at very high risk from Covid-19.

Any change in guidance would create further obstacles in the State’s protracted vaccine programme given that the AstraZeneca shot accounts for just over 20 per cent of the planned vaccine supplies to the State during the months of April, May and June.

EU ministers ‘frustrated’ by lack of EMA guidance on AstraZeneca vaccine (Irish Times)


This morning/afternoon.

“In my opinion, we can say it now, it is clear there is a link with the vaccine. But we still do not know what causes this reaction,”

“We are trying to get a precise picture of what is happening, to define in detail this syndrome due to the vaccine.”

“Among the vaccinated, there are more cases of cerebral thrombosis… among young people than we would expect.”

EMA head of vaccines Marco Cavaleri in an interview with Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper.

EMA Official Links AstraZeneca Vaccine And Thrombosis (Barron’s)


This afternoon.


Canada’s vaccine advisory committee is recommending immediately suspending the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in Canadians under 55 following reports of rare but potentially fatal blood clots in Europe that appear to be connected to the shot.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) updated its guidelines to provinces and territories against the use of the vaccine for younger Canadians on Monday over safety concerns.

Why Canada is suspending use of AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 55 (CBC)



This afternoon.

#TakeOffYourMask trends in Ireland.

This evening.


This afternoon.


Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE at Dr Steevens’ Hospital for the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19

This afternoon.

Weekly HSE briefing at Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin.

Ahead of a decision expected this evening from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) whether or not the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is safe to continue to use after incidents of blood clotting.

“We have had a number of clotting events, in which there has been no link in terms of cause and effect of those vaccinations. They may well have been coincidental but they’re under investigation.

“In any population based screening program other things will happen that will happen anyhow in unvaccinated people – illness, hospitalisation, even death.

“There have been a number of cases of clotting and none of the unusual type, and it’s to be expected with this heightened sense of awareness that there will be improved reporting on those to HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority].

It will investigate these and inform us if there’s any is any cause for concern, and none has been expressed to date.”

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE

Covid-19: HSE holds briefing, EMA decision due (RTÉ)


Music teacher Sandro Tognatti died hours after getting AstraZeneca vaccine

This morning.

Prosecutors in Italy have launched a manslaughter investigation after a music teacher there died hours after getting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Via New York Post:

Sandro Tognatti, 57, got jabbed in his hometown Biella on Saturday afternoon and went to bed that night with a high fever, his wife, Simona Riussi, told Italian media.

She called an ambulance the next morning but the clarinetist could not be saved, she said.

….Prosecutors in the northern Italian region of Piedmont opened the probe into his death later that day, according to the Italian wire service Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA).

They also seized nearly 400,000 shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the same batch.

So far, officials have insisted there has yet to be a direct link between Tognatti’s death and his shot.

Italy opens manslaughter case after teacher dies hours after getting AstraZeneca vaccine (New York Post)

Yesterday: Target Market

This afternoon.

It’ll be grand.


Thailand has  became the first Asian country to halt the use of the jab over safety concerns, shortly after Denmark announced a two-week pause to its nationwide rollout after reports of blood clots and one death.

In a setback to Europe’s ailing vaccination campaign, seven other countries have also suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot: Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

Austria and Italy, meanwhile, have said that they will stop using certain batches of the vaccine as a precautionary measure.

Many other nations, however, have defended their use of the shot and said they will continue their respective inoculation campaigns…

More countries suspend AstraZeneca vaccinations over blood clot fears: What we know so far (CNBC)



Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly

This morning.

Via RTÉ news:

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said the issue with the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine is very frustrating and he said he spoke to the company about his concerns with supply last night.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said the AstraZeneca representative said the company was committed to the total volumes being delivered to Ireland but could not give dates.

Mr Donnelly said the company admitted to having “unanticipated problems” with supply chains and having a very significant manufacturing capacity…

Minister says AstraZeneca commits to fixing issues but no dates for deliveries (RTÉ)