The review of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which deemed it safe and effective and resultant Government clearance for the resumption of AZ vaccinations in Ireland will come as a welcome relief for many cancer patients.
The EMA review will prove very important in providing confidence to patients in the safety and effectiveness of the AZ vaccine.
We have heard from a number of cancer patients in recent days who are extremely concerned by reports of delays in vaccination. Every effort must now be made to restart and ramp up vaccination of very high risk cancer patients in Cohort 4. This will offer hope and protection against Covid to the most vulnerable patients, who have endured a great deal of stress and anxiety throughout the pandemic.
To achieve this the Government and HSE must give healthcare workers and hospitals all the resources they need to identify very high risk patients in Cohort 4 and to communicate appropriately with patients about their upcoming vaccination.