IRELAND'S Covid-19 vaccination programme has been brought to its knees yet again following the news that Johnson & Johnson are delaying rollout of their jabs to Europe due to fears of a blood clot link.
The pharmaceutical giant said on Tuesday that it would be reviewing cases of extremely rare blood clots in people after they received the shot with European health authorities.
It comes just as the US announced it would be suspending usage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women under 50 also developed rare blood clots after receiving the jab.
According to the New York Times, the six women who developed clots - representing a rate of around one in a million - were aged between 18 and 48.
One of the women died and another is currently in hospital.
This massive setback is the latest in a long list of supply problems Ireland, and all other EU nations, have endured in the last few months.
Issues concerning AstraZeneca's vaccine were raised following reports of similar blood clot issues in patients, but for many governments Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was their 'ace in the hole'.
Having recently been clinically approved for use in the US and in Europe, many countries had hoped that J&J's vaccine would help to balance supply issues regarding AstraZeneca.
Ireland is set to receive its first batch of J&J vaccines later this week. On April 1, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly signed the approval for the J&J vaccine to be rolled out in Ireland following the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) decision to grant approval.
According to figures published by the Department of Health last week, 40,800 doses of the J&J vaccine were due to be delivered to Ireland in April, followed by 132,000 in May and 432,000 in June.
The EU had hoped to have 55 million doses of the vaccine in the bloc by the end of June, but that date will now likely have to be revised.
As of April 12th, more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the US.