New AstraZeneca vaccine delay won't affect existing appointments
Pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca informed the European Union of a new delay to its coronavirus vaccine delivery schedule, Dutch public health agency RIVM said on Monday. The delay means that, for now, no new vaccination appointments will be scheduled by municipal health service GGD from February 22 through March 14, but appointments which were already made will not be cancelled.
"Once AstraZeneca deliveries are back on track, GGD appointments can be scheduled again," the RIVM said. No reason was given for the new delay, the company's second in a month.
Hugo de Jonge, the caretaker health minister, expressed his disappointment in the delay. It was announced just a day after he praised Dutch health organizations for administering the millionth vaccine dose in the country, and pledged that it would take just over two more weeks before the Netherlands would reach the two million mark.
The delay means that 217 thousand doses set to be delivered this week and next will not happen, but instead an allotment of 211 thousand vaccines will be sent to the Netherlands closer to March 7. This will be in addition to vaccine doses scheduled for delivery from March 8 - 14.
While planning for this week will largely remain unchanged, the RIVM said that the delay will be a setback for procedures organized by the GGD system, family doctor practices and mental health care institutions.