Holland bans Astrazeneca vaccine to under 60s over blood clot fears despite EU calling jab ‘safe’

THE Netherlands has today halted AstraZeneca coronavirus jabs for people under the age of 60 after fresh reports of rare blood clots.

The move comes after five new cases in the Netherlands affecting women between 25 and 65 years of age, one of whom died.

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Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said: "We must err on the side of caution, which is why it is wise to press the pause button now as a precaution."

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 comes after it emerged Germany was suspending use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 60 due to fears of a link with rare blood clots.

The Dutch Medicines Board said the clotting problems were similar to those seen in other European countries.

Board chairman Ton de Boer said: This is of course worrisome. Certainly because a relatively young person has died."

About 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.

More to follow…

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