Netherlands Becomes Latest Country To Suspend Use Of AstraZeneca Jab To Under 60s.
The Dutch Government has suspended the rollout of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus jabs for people under the age of 60 after fresh reports came in of rare blood clots. The sudden move comes after five new cases of clots were discovered in the Netherlands, affecting women between 25 and 65 years of age, one of whom sadly died.
‘We must err on the side of caution, which is why it is wise to press the pause button now as a precaution,’ Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a statement. The suspension of AstraZeneca jabs will last until April 7 when the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to come out with fresh advice on the issue, he said.
It follows similar moves by other countries including Germany, France and Canada. The Dutch Medicines Board said the clotting problems were similar to those seen in other European countries. ‘This is of course worrisome. Certainly, because a relatively young person has died,’ board chairman Ton de Boer said in a statement. In the period when the five cases were reported, some 400,000 people were vaccinated in the Netherlands with the AstraZeneca jab.
Around 10,000 vaccinations that were scheduled next week for Dutch health workers under the age of 60 have now been postponed, the GGD public health service said. ‘The immediate cause for the decision are reports of cases of extensive thrombosis in combination with low platelet counts after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine,’ it said.
The EMA said on Wednesday it believes the AstraZeneca jab is safe and that experts have found no specific risk factors such as age, gender or medical history. However, the Amsterdam-based regulator said it would release an ‘updated recommendation’ after its safety committee meets next week.
AstraZeneca say they have found no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country.
While Dr Phil Bryan, vaccines safety lead at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said people in the UK “should still go and get their Covid-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”
Dr Bryan said: “We are aware of the action in Ireland.
“We are closely reviewing reports but given the large number of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause.
“People should still go and get their Covid-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”
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