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Ireland’s Covid vaccine rollout gets double shot, as AstraZeneca restrictions are relaxed and J&J gets approval

Ireland’s Covid vaccine rollout gets double shot, as AstraZeneca restrictions are relaxed and J&J gets approval
Ireland’s Covid vaccine rollout has received a double dose of good news, as its National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has approved the Johnson & Johnson shot and relaxed the age limits imposed for AstraZeneca’s jab.

The state had limited the AstraZeneca vaccine to those aged 60 and older, after a European Medicines Agency (EMA) review found a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots. Most of the reported clots were in women aged under 60.

The NIAC’s new guidance was approved by the Irish government on Tuesday and the age restriction will now be eased, meaning all residents aged over 50 will be allowed to receive the jab. The relaxed rules and addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should see Ireland speed up its rollout across the country.

There had been concerns that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would face severe restrictions after its approval was delayed last week, pending further recommendations from Ireland’s health authority. However, the NIAC signed off on its use in those aged 50 and above, or people aged under 50 if another vaccine was not available or suitable for them.

The Johnson & Johnson approval means the one-shot Covid jab can also now be used to vaccinate more vulnerable communities, such as the homeless, who might otherwise have been unable to be inoculated.

Also on rt.com European Commission says 'no decision taken' on AstraZeneca legal action after Irish minister said case 'initiated'

In addition to the AstraZeneca and the J&J jabs, doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are also being administered in Ireland. The Novavax, CureVac, and Sputnik V jabs are all currently under review and awaiting approval from the EMA and Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority.

According to government data, as of 25 April, Ireland had administered almost 1.4 million doses of Covid vaccine, including close to 400,000 second doses. The country has a population of 4.9 million.

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