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JAB LATEST Just 26,400 doses of Johnson & Johnson's 'game-changing' vaccine arrived here in April

That is more than 14,000 less than expected of the 'game-changer' jab

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Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Johnson & Johnson vaccine

A DISAPPOINTING 26,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived here in April.

That is more than 14,000 less than expected of the 'game-changer' jab.

The figures emerged yesterday as the HSE, which has revamped its vaccination plan, is hoping to get the go-ahead to give this vaccine to people under 50.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) advised this jab and the AstraZeneca vaccine be confined to people over 50, although it allowed for flexibility where availability of other vaccines is a problem.

However, as the HSE waits for final approval from the Department of Health and guidelines on the use of the vaccines in the under-50s, there is already concern about the reliability of deliveries of the Johnson & Johnson jab.

Unused

At least 132,000 doses are due this month and 432,000 in June, but any further delay will affect the vaccination roll-out.

The 26,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine remain unused while waiting for the green light.

As of Monday, 1.6m doses of different vaccines were administered and 30pc of the population have had at least one dose.

Following a call by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to carry out 24-hour vaccination centres if needed, the HSE said yesterday that it is currently planning sufficient centres and staff capacity to meet vaccine supply over the coming months.

Asked about people booked in for a vaccine who are 'no-shows', a spokeswoman said that the data is not currently available.

"It should be noted that vaccination centres are in addition to locations such as GP surgeries where vaccines have been delivered.

"Individual GP appointments are a matter for the patient and their GP," the spokeswoman said.

"The HSE strongly encourages all members of the public who are registered for their Covid-19 vaccine to attend for their appointment.

"If you cannot attend, you can now cancel your appointment by text and another appointment will be provided.

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"This information on why people are not turning up is not available.

"However, the HSE welcomes the significant demand for registration of the Covid-19 vaccine to date.

"This is evidenced by the approximately 80pc of those aged between 60-69 who have registered through hse.ie.

"In addition, a significant number of those in this age group would have already received their vaccine, through other priority groups.

"Participation in vaccination programmes in Ireland is not mandatory.

"However, the HSE would strongly recommend that those eligible for the vaccine register when called to do so."

Meanwhile, a new study from Denmark and Norway in the British Medical Journal sheds more light on the risk of rare blood clots in adults receiving their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The findings show slightly increased rates of vein blood clots, including clots in the veins of the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population.

However, the researchers stress that the risk of such adverse events is low.

Cases of rare blood clots in people who have recently received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been reported.

Whether these cases represent excess events above expected rates in the general population has, however, been debated.

Denmark and Norway have suspended use of the vaccine and several other countries have opted to suspend its use in certain age groups.

The findings are based on 280,000 people aged 18-65 who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Denmark and Norway from February 1 through to March 11.

Researchers found 59 blood clots in veins compared with 30 that would have been expected, corresponding to 11 excess events per 100,000 vaccinations.

This included a higher than expected rate of blood clots but they found no increase in the rate of arterial clots, such as heart attacks or strokes.

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