By Joleen Murphy
All AstraZeneca vaccination clinics due to take place today have been cancelled.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to people under the age of 60.
It follows concerns the vaccine is linked to cases of very rare blood clots, with a number of EU countries limiting its use.
The decision would have implications for the vaccine roll-out plan.
The Labour Leader’s looking for assurances from government it will still meet its Covid vaccination targets.
Alan Kelly says the government needs to have contingencies in place to deal with the expected decision.
“I presume, considering that the government and Stephen Donnell had a week or two to prepare for all eventualities, that they have looked at contingency plans here.
“There are a lot of logistics and planning here that needs to change pretty quickly.
“I want an assurance from them and from the government that we can get 4 out of 5 people inoculated by June.”
He has questioned the role of the EMA, given the number of national regulators which are implementing their own guidance in relation to the Astra Zeneca vaccince.
“It’s completely contradictory, there is no way of saying anything else.
“At some point in the future, when this is all over and when we have more time, we will have to analyse this and the role of the EMA versus national regulators.
“Certainly at one point in time the EMA was what was to follow and now it’s NIAC nad our national regularot
“It seems to be the lowest common denominator, the abundance of caution, whichever is lowest from whichever regulator.”
AstraZeneca vaccines cancelled by the HSE comes as all adults aged over 50 in the UK have now been offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The British government says the target has been reached three days ahead of schedule.