IRELAND is expected to resume its use of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine this week after administration of the jab was temporarily suspended.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is expected to make an announcement later today in relation to the use of the jab, but it's understood that administration will resume after a lengthy review.
Earlier this week, Ireland suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after concerns were raised over its safety when a handful of patients were found to have developed blood clots shortly after receiving the jab.
This prompted a decision by the EU to recommend a halt to distribution and administration of the Oxford-made vaccine, and several nations followed the advice, including Germany, Italy, France, Spain and eventually Ireland.
But an investigation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots in those who receive it, prompting nations across the bloc to reconsider their decision to suspend usage.
The EMA stressed the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risk of side effects but that product information for the vaccine should be updated to include more information on these risks.
The initial decision to suspend the vaccine has been widely criticised, particularly by those who feel the recommendation was a political move by the EU to save face amid vaccine shortages following supply issues with AstraZeneca.
Some see the decision as a needless move which has ultimately cost lives, particularly given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is easier to store and distribute, making it the jab of choice for patients living in isolated communities.