The Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb announced today that the centre had received a report of death shortly after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination in the Netherlands. It concerned a vulnerable person over the age of 90 years old, with underlying health problems. A news item on their website announced that Lareb is investigating the cause of death. According to Lareb, there is no reason at this time to believe that the death is related to receiving the vaccination.
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. Last week, the EMA announced that further investigation of the deaths of frail elderly people in Norway and elsewhere has shown that there is no direct link between the deaths of these people and the vaccination they received.
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. On average, an estimated two thousand people aged 80 years and older die each week in the Netherlands. 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.