The Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb announced today that the centre had received a total of 15 reports so far regarding deaths shortly after receiving the COVID-19 vaccinations. The reports involved fifteen elderly people who died between one and nine days after the vaccination in the Netherlands. Lareb announced in a news item that there is no reason to assume that vaccination played any role in the deaths. It goes without saying that RIVM is monitoring the developments closely.
Obviously, the health and safety of the people being vaccinated are our first priority. In the Netherlands, doctors assess whether the vaccination is suitable for a person of any age, old or young, especially in the case of vulnerable and elderly people. Old age or poor health are not a reason (contraindication) not to vaccinate. Older people do have a much higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, whether or not their health is poor. For this reason, the Health Council has recommended vaccinating older and more vulnerable people first. People can decide for themselves, possibly in consultation with their loved ones and/or treating physician, whether vaccination is useful, for example in situations involving a terminal illness.
Vulnerable elderly people
Everyone in the Netherlands over the age of 18 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination. That includes elderly people and people in (extremely) vulnerable health. Vaccination of vulnerable elderly people started on 18 January. An estimated two thousand people aged 80 years and older die each week in the Netherlands on average. Logically, these deaths will also include people who have recently been vaccinated.
More information about side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccination can be found in the weekly overview on the Lareb website.
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign was established on the basis of the advisory opinion issued by the Health Council of the Netherlands, as decided by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). Everyone in the Netherlands over the age of 18 years old will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccines used in the Netherlands have been assessed as safe and approved for use by both the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG-MEB) in the Netherlands.