NL starts rescheduling AstraZeneca vaccine appointments
GPs and municipal health service GGD will start to reschedule the over 200 thousand canceled appointments for an AstraZeneca vaccine from Friday. Departing Health Minister Hugo de Jonge gave them the go-ahead after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) ruled that the vaccine was safe on Thursday.
On Sunday, the Netherlands paused the use of AstraZeneca vaccine after Norway and Denmark raised concerns about people presenting with a combination of thrombosis and low platelet counts after getting the vaccine. The EMA investigated and concluded that it was unlikely that the vaccine caused the clotting problems that occurred in 25 people after they were vaccinated.
Before the suspension, only GPs in Flevoland and Gelderland had already started administering the AstraZeneca vaccine. "87 thousand new appointments now have to be made," a spokesperson for GP association LHV said to NOS. "We'll need about a week for that."
The GGDs are using the AstraZeneca vaccine to vaccinate healthcare personnel. They are also starting to reschedule canceled appointments. According to ANP, the first shots with this vaccine will be given from Wednesday again.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was recommended for use on people over the age of 65, and people medically vulnerable to the coronavirus, including people with Down's Syndrome, people with obesity, and people with psychological disorders that can cause breathing difficulties.
On Wednesday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that the delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines for the second quarter will be much smaller than anticipated. Instead of 180 million doses, the EU will only get 70 million doses in the second quarter. The Netherlands was originally set to get 6.8 million doses. Instead it will get around 2.7 million.