13,000 Janssen Covid vaccine appointments canceled with new Dutch advice
Approximately 13,000 people who were scheduled to receive the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine have canceled their appointments, GGD GHOR told the broadcaster NOS. The cancelations were revealed a day after the government said it would limit use of the jab because of concerns about side effects and effectiveness.
It was announced on Wednesday that younger people in the Netherlands who have not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine will not be offered the Janssen vaccine. Instead, they will be offered one of the approved mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna. The decision was announced by caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge, following emergency advice submitted by the Dutch Health Council.
According to NOS, there were still 167,000 appointments scheduled as of Wednesday. People who no longer wanted to receive this vaccine are able to cancel their appointments via the GGD municipal health service.
The mRNA vaccines "are more effective and have fewer drawbacks" than the viral vector vaccines from both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen, the Council stated. Both of the vector vaccines have been linked to a serious rare side effect involving blood clots in combination with a low platelet count.
The Council justified its newest policy with the fact that the mRNA vaccines are being produced and delivered to the Netherlands in higher quantities. Additionally, the current level of coronavirus infections in the country is relatively low. Thus, "the Netherlands can afford this choice in the vaccination program," the Council said.
The Janssen Vaccine, which was developed at a laboratory in Leiden, is still going to be used to inoculate homeless people, seafarers, and military personnel. The vaccine requires no booster shot and is therefore deemed more convenient for these groups.