Johnson & Johnson announced today that it will delay the rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe after US authorities moved to suspend its use due to health concerns.
It comes after the National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to people aged under 60, following reports across Europe of unusual but severe clotting events as very rare side-effects.
Around 600,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were due to be delivered to Ireland before the end of June.
Speaking on The Last Word, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris described the AstraZeneca situation as a logistical headache, but added that it wouldn't impact on supply.
However, he felt the Johnson & Johnson news was "potentially more concerning" due to the issues with supply.
He joined us to discuss this and the launch of rapid antigen test pilot programmes in third-level institutions.