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Statement from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) on the AstraZeneca vaccine

Statement from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) on the AstraZeneca vaccine

Published 07 April 2021

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) notes the finding from the European Medicines Agency regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine and statements from the UK. The EMA has advised of finding a possible link between the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and rare blood clotting issues in adults who had received the vaccine. The regulatory agency concluded that the overall benefits of this highly effective vaccine in protecting recipients from severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalisation and death outweigh the risks of this very rare event.

NIAC’s current advice regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine still applies.

As previously advised, healthcare professionals and vaccine recipients should be informed that very rare, complicated clotting events have been reported in a small number of people who have recently received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The HPRA highlights the importance of reporting suspected side effects associated with vaccines to www.hpra.ie.

NIAC will meet to discuss the EMA’s statement and consult with EU colleagues. NIAC will also consider whether any further advice is required which will be issued to the Department of Health if that is warranted.

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About NIAC

NIAC includes representatives from Department of Health, HSE, the National Immunisation Office,  the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA),the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL UCD), representatives from the Faculties and Institutes of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, RCSI, the Infectious Diseases Society, the Nursing and Midwifery Board and two representatives of the public.

This group of experts meet to consider new evidence about vaccines and provide advice to the Chief Medical Officer and the Department of Health. The Department and the Minister for Health make policy decisions on vaccines which are implemented by the HSE.

Learn more about the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).