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NI health chief insists ‘it is right’ to get AstraZeneca jab despite bloodclot worries

NI health chief insists ‘it is right’ to get AstraZeneca jab despite blood clot worries.

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HEALTH Chief Dr. Michael McBride insisted. Covid-19 jabs in Northern Ireland are safe amid fears over the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said he was “relieved” as he sat for the first of two shots at the Ulster Hospital near Belfast this morning.

NI health chief insists ‘it is right’ to get AstraZeneca jab despite bloodclot worries
PA: Press Association

NI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride gets his first jab at Ulster Hospital[/caption]

The Chief Medical Officer said: “When your turn comes, don’t delay, get the job. Protect yourself and others.”

He spoke as the rapid roll-out in NI continued, with people aged over 50 being asked to come forward for the jabs.

Most of those vaccinated will receive the AstraZeneca medication.

Health officials in the Republic and eleven other countries have suspended the use of the brand.

Blood clot fears

The move follows reports of blood clotting among recipients in Denmark and Norway.

Dr. McBride said he had spoken with Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Dr. Ronan Glynn at “some length” on Sunday about the decision.

He said: “They made a very precautionary decision; they’ve recognized that while they assess the evidence more fully.”

He added that “the balance of risk and benefit” means it is right “to continue with the vaccine, and that’s why I’m here today getting my vaccine.”

A decision on whether the AstraZeneca vaccine will be used again in Ireland is expected this week.

Safety review

The European Medicines Agency is currently reviewing its safety.

AstraZeneca has said there is no evidence of a link between the vaccine and increased risk of clotting.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said that “given a large number of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause.”

Monday figures show that 623,948 people in Northern Ireland have received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while 52,386 have received two.

Over 50’s called forward.

This week, people aged 50 or over in the region can now book their vaccine appointment at one of the seven regional centers.

The centers are primarily be using the AstraZeneca vaccine.

They are at Royal Victoria Hospital, Ulster Hospital, South Lake Leisure Centre, Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Foyle Arena, Omagh Leisure Centre, and Lakeside Leisure Centre.

Health Minister Robin Swann said getting the jab was a “bridge to better, safer and more normal times for everyone.”

NI health chief insists ‘it is right’ to get AstraZeneca jab despite bloodclot worries
AstraZeneca use paused in 12 countries Ireland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronan Glynn.
PA: Press Association