Health officials addressed the suspension of the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns over blood clots.

A FURTHER 575 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has said this evening.
In a statement, it said that no new deaths were reported today.
The total number of confirmed cases is now at 227,316. The number of Covid-19 related deaths remains at 4,534.
Of the cases notified today:

  • 289 are men / 282 are women
  • 73% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 30 years old
  • 232 in Dublin, 48 in Meath, 41 in Tipperary, 38 in Kildare, 30 in Galway and the remaining 186 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

As of 8am today, 360 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 85 are in intensive care. There has been 25 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
As of last Friday, 606,904 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

  • 443,092 people have received their first dose
  • 163,812 people have received their second dose

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: While there has been a very understandable focus on the vaccine programme over recent days, we must not lose sight of the danger that Covid-19 continues to pose.
While, in time, vaccines will have a very significant positive impact on Covid, they will not stop a further wave of disease over the coming weeks.
We are seeing this play out across Europe with many countries now experiencing pressure on their hospital and critical care capacities. We must not let this happen here, he added. 
Health officials also addressed the suspension of the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine amid concerns over blood clots.
All vaccines authorised for use Ireland are proven to be very effective against severe Covid-19 disease. The safety of vaccines is underpinned by the ongoing monitoring that the NIAC, the HPRA and the EMA undertake on a rolling basis, Professor Karina Butler, Chair of National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) said.
We will continue to monitor the situation relating to COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and if we can be satisfied that these events are coincidental and not caused by this vaccine, we will reassess the situation and our recommendations.
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Dr Ray Walley, Member of the National Covid-19 GP Liaison Committee said: Every medication, including every vaccine, has side effects.
Our role as clinicians, is to weigh up the benefits and risks of medications. I want to reassure those who have received a Covid-19 vaccine in this country that there are, and continues to be, enormous benefits in the vaccine programme, based on evidence relating to all the vaccines were using in this country, including COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
Dr Walley added that the temporary deferral of use of the AstraZeneca jab is necessary in order to give the assurance that were taking notice if there are any safety signals at all. 
I hope people take comfort from this cautious approach, he said.