Holland bans Astrazeneca vaccine to under 60s over blood clot fears despite EU calling jab ‘safe’

THE Netherlands has today halted AstraZeneca coronavirus jabs for people under the age of 60 after fresh reports of rare blood clots.

The move comes after five new cases in the Netherlands affecting women between 25 and 65 years of age, one of whom died.

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The jab has been banned amid safety fears[/caption]

Yesterday the AstraZeneca vaccine was once again ruled totally safe by the EU regulator.

European Medicines Agency executive director Emer Cooke said there was “no evidence” that the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine should be restricted.

The EMA said that the benefits of the jab outweigh the risks.

The agency said: “A casual link [of blood clots] with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and further analysis is continuing.”

But Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said: “We must err on the side of caution, which is why it is wise to press the pause button now as a precaution.”

The suspension of AstraZeneca jabs will last until April 7 when the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to come out with fresh advice on the issue, he said.

We must err on the side of caution, which is why it is wise to press the pause button now as a precaution

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge

It comes after it emerged Germany was suspending use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged under 60 due to fears of a link with rare blood clots.

The Dutch Medicines Board said the clotting problems were similar to those seen in other European countries.

Board chairman Ton de Boer said: This is of course worrisome. Certainly because a relatively young person has died.”

About 10,000 vaccinations that were scheduled next week for Dutch health workers under the age of 60 have now been postponed, the GGD public health service said.

“The immediate cause for the decision are reports of cases of extensive thrombosis in combination with low platelet counts after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” it said.

The shock decision comes days after France, Italy and Germany resumed their rollout out of the AstraZeneca vaccine after the EU finally declared it safe.

The trio’s humiliating U-turn had come after all three countries led the way in suspending use of the jab amid an unfounded safety scare about the link with blood-clots.

Yesterday the AstraZeneca vaccine was once again ruled totally safe by the EU regulator.

Yesterday the AstraZeneca vaccine was once again ruled totally safe by the EU regulator
Yesterday the AstraZeneca vaccine was once again ruled totally safe by the EU regulator

What has AstraZeneca said?

AstraZeneca has previously said its own review found no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, or in any particular country.

In clinical trials for the jab, the number of clotting incidents was small and “lower in the vaccinated group” than in those who were unvaccinated, it added.

The firm said international regulators had found the benefits of its jab outweigh any risks.

However, it said it will continue to analyse its database to understand “whether these very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) occur any more commonly than would be expected naturally in a population of millions of people”.

CVST is a serious condition which occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses.

This prevents blood from draining out of the brain and as a result, blood cells may break and leak into brain tissues, forming a haemorrhage.

This chain of events is part of a stroke, according to the John Hopkins University.

More to follow…

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