Covid vaccines available faster for some as at-risk people not booking appointments
More than a half of people under the age of 60 from groups at a higher risk should the get the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection have not yet requested an appointment to get their early Covid-19 vaccine shots. As a result, more people in their fifties may be able to get the vaccine ahead of the planned schedule, newspaper Volkskrant suggested. Consequently, new advice regarding the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine with this age group may arrive too late to have an impact.
Approximately 1.5 million adults with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, pulmonary problems, or cardiac issues were given priority in the national vaccination campaign. To the surprise of GGD, less than a half of them have utilized the advantage by booking an appointment with the GGD to receive a jab. Thanks to that, the RIVM has approved two groups of healthy people to schedule their appointments. On Sunday, those born in 1963 and 1964 were given the go-ahead to make an appointment, and people born in 1965 were approved on Monday.
Additionally, the newest advice concerning the age groups that can be safely administered the AstraZeneca jab may not arrive in time to have the effect it was meant to. The use of this jab was officially halted in the Netherlands on April 8 following out of concern over rare side effects.
However, De Jonge later asked the Dutch Health Council to reevaluate its advice to only use the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with people over the age of 60. At that time, the Netherlands was administering the AstraZeneca jab only to people between the age of 60 and 64.
Such a request was made after it emerged that the health risks related to the use of the jab with the 50-59 age group were just slightly higher compared to the 60-69 year olds. Volkskrant reported that the new guidance on the issue was currently being drawn up by the Health Council.
"The minister is waiting for the advice of the Health Council, and will make a decision as soon as possible about a possible new age limit regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine," said a spokesperson for De Jonge.
The Health Council said they were still awaiting the results of their investigation to be able to issue the new advice. "The committee is at work, but it is just not ready yet," they explained.