The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) has decided to stop vaccinating with the COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca for people under 60 (born in 1961 or later), effectively from now until Wednesday. This was decided after five cases of blood clots and lower blood platelets in the Netherlands were reported to Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb. The EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) is currently investigating this possible side-effect. The results of the investigation are expected on Wednesday, 7 April. A new assessment about the use of AstraZeneca will be made at that time.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently being used for vaccinations by the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs), GPs, hospitals and mental health institutions. The new hold will go into effect immediately for people born in 1961 or later. For people aged 60 or over, the health risk from contracting COVID-19 is much higher than the risk of this possible rare side-effect. The scheduled vaccinations with AstraZeneca for people born in 1960 or before can go ahead as planned. Appointments for people under 60 after Wednesday are still scheduled for the time being. A new assessment about the use of AstraZeneca will be made on Wednesday.
Cases reported to Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb
The direct reason for putting the vaccinations on hold is two new reported cases of blood clots in combination with low platelet counts after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine. These cases were reported by Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb today. A total of five such cases have now been reported in the Netherlands, in women between the ages of 25 and 65. There have been comparable reports from other EU countries. The EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) is currently investigating whether these reported symptoms could be a possible side-effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.