Food & Drink

Officials awaiting advice as drug linked to blood clots which have affected younger people

New restrictions on the use of AstraZeneca doses could slow the States vaccine rollout just when it was supposed to be accelerating, Government Ministers fear.
The impact will depend on the level of restrictions expected to be recommended* by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) on Monday, according to informed sources.
The advisory body is thought likely to recommend some form of restriction on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week warned that extremely rare blood clots were a side-effect of the drug that patients should be warned about.

  • People can travel within their county, or 20km from home
  • Households can meet with one other household outdoors, but not in gardens
  • Construction sites reopen for residential and childcare facility projects
  • First- to fourth-year secondary students return to in-class teaching

Several EU countries have limited its use to only older people as the clots have affected younger people while the UK has confined it to those aged over 30.
The first option, if followed by Niac, would cause significant disruption to Irelands vaccine programme, as AstraZeneca is intended to be used to vaccinate many under-65s.
Officials are waiting anxiously for the advice as the country on Monday sees the most substantial reopening yet after the third and longest lockdown of the pandemic.
Monday is the first day since December that all children will be back at school, while the 5km limit also ends on Monday, with people allowed to travel within their own county, or within 20km of their own home.