By Robbie Byrne

The use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine has been paused in the United States.

In a joint official statement, the Federal Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control say the recommendation is out of an abundance of caution.

The statement follows six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine, out of almost 7 million doses administered.

According to the New York Times, one woman has died and a second woman in Nebraska has been hospitalized and remains in a critical condition.

The FDA says the adverse events appear to be extremely rare.

Meanwhile, the Irish government and public health officials are reassuring people over 60 about the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

It follows a decision to limit the vaccine to the 60+ age cohort rising from concerns about blood clots in younger people.

There are around 400,000 people in their 60s in Ireland and they are now predominately the people who will be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Blood clots from the injection have been extremely rare and mainly in younger people with only one reported case here so far.

Professor Karina Butler from National Immunisation Advisory Committee says they are being very careful.

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