GPs see fear in people over 60 about the AstraZeneca vaccine
General Practitioners see that many people aged 60 or older refrain from taking the AstraZeneca corona vaccine. Since the vaccine is not approved for people under 60, they fear it could cause side effects for them, too. GPs told this Saturday evening in the TV program Nieuwsuur.
At an injection site in Zwolle, GP Marco Blanker said that only 58 percent of the over-60s showed up for an AstraZeneca injection. GP Bart Meijman, with a practice in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, even spoke of a turnout of only 40 percent in that target group.
"Appalled and alarmed"
The Health Council decided last Thursday to only give this vaccine to people over 60, after the European Medicines Agency EMA concluded that there is likely a link between the vaccine and a rare and dangerous combination of blood complaints. At that time, one woman in the Netherlands had died from the side effect, an embolism. In addition, seven reports were known. A vaccination stop for the AstraZeneca vaccine has already been announced.
Meijman expressed his worry and said that he was "appalled and alarmed" by the Health Council's decision. He calls the risk of side effects extremely low and finds it "dramatic" that so few people come to get a vaccine "that can save you from dying." He says that the damage has been done because of the decision of the Health Council. "Confidence in the vaccine is questionable for many people."
Vaccine skepticism has a major impact on doctors
National newspaper AD reports that in Rotterdam GPs said on Saturday that people are staying at home after all the unrest surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine. As a result, leftovers are distributed by the GPs to others, even acquaintances. Something that they are allowed to do as long as it concerns patients aged 65 and older to prevent waste.
The National General Practitioners Association (LHV) tells the newspaper that the concerns from Rotterdam are known. Last Thursday, the LHV already announced that all changes regarding vaccination with AstraZeneca had a 'major impact' on GPs. In addition to people over 60, they give the vaccine to people with Down's syndrome and people who are morbidly obese. They also give it to people who live at home and are not mobile. But now also only to people over 60 in those groups.
Meijman is also a member of an action committee and said on Sunday that he would "nail a motion of censure" to the door of the Health Council. "Wanting to avoid all risk is dramatic."