Irish medicines watchdog probing first blood clot case in AstraZeneca vaccine recipient

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The HPRA confirmed it has received a case which describes “an unusual clot in the brain.”

IRELAND’S MEDICINES REGULATOR is investigating the first potential case of a very rare blood clot in someone who received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), confirmed it has received “a case of interest associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which describes cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), an unusual clot in the brain.”

The Irish Times reported this evening that the case involves a 40-year-old Dublin woman who is being treated for CVST at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. 

The newspaper said she has been successfully treated and will be discharged in the coming days.

Yesterday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), announced that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets, including CVST, should be listed as rare side effects of the AstraZeneca jab.

“We are following up on this report to obtain additional details and to evaluate if it is consistent with the profile of rare blood clotting events that were the focus of the recently concluded EMA safety review,” the HPRA said today.

“This report will be notified to the EUs safety database and will be considered in the context of continuous monitoring coordinated by the EMA,” it added.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is meeting today and tomorrow to assess if new guidelines around the vaccine should be introduced here.

The HPRA said it would not make any further comment on the matter for confidentiality reasons. The Mater Hospital also said it would not be commenting due to patient confidentiality.

In a statement yesterday, the watchdog said it has been notified of approximately 2,800 reports of suspected side effects associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The statement said that of 204,270 Astrazeneca doses administered in Ireland, there were 18 reports describing “blood clots or events possibly associated with blood clots.”

However, at that time, none of the clots reported were of the nature of the very rare blood clots of concern.

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Earlier today, a pharmacist in the UK whose brother died of a blood clot doctors said was probably caused by his Covid-19 vaccine says she “strongly believed” people should continue to have the jab.

Solicitor Neil Astles, 59, died on Sunday after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine on 17 March, his sister, Alison, said.

Dr Astles urged people to continue getting vaccinated, saying her brother was “extraordinarily unlucky”.

“Despite what has happened to Neil and the impact on our family, I still strongly believe that people should go ahead and have the vaccine,” she told the BBC.

“The risk of a clot is very, very small and my brother was extraordinarily unlucky,” she added.

With reporting by Orla Dwyer and Press Association

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