AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspended Again in Netherlands After Woman Who Received Jab Dies

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
April 2, 2021Europe
AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspended Again in Netherlands After Woman Who Received Jab Dies
Medical staff prepares a syringe from a vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine during preparations at the vaccine center in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany, on March 22, 2021. (Matthias Schrader/AP Photo)

The Netherlands temporarily suspended AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for a second time for people under the age of 60 after a woman who had received the jab died and four other women experienced serious complications, according to a report.

The announcement to pause the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company’s vaccine was made in a government statement on Friday, which said that due to “a new report” on side effects, health officials decided not to vaccinate people under the age of 60 in the coming days.

The woman’s death was reported by the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb—a research center that tracks the risks associated with the use of medicines.

“These are women between 25 and 65 years old. Three patients had extensive pulmonary embolisms. One died and one also had a brain hemorrhage,” Lareb said.

Health officials said a link between the vaccine and the side effects has not yet been established but is being investigated. The complications arose about 7 to 10 days after the people received the vaccine.

It is the first time someone died in the Netherlands after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was previously suspended temporarily in multiple countries in the European Union over blood clot concerns, including in the Netherlands.

Last month, the Netherlands’s Health Ministry halted the administration of AstraZeneca for more than two weeks after serious side effects arose in a small number of people.

Germany on Tuesday became the latest European country to also stop injecting people with the AstraZeneca vaccine under the age of 60 amid fresh concerns over unusual blood clots reported in a number of those who received the shots.

France, meanwhile, also said in mid-March it decided to limit the vaccine to people for those aged 55 and older.

“The precautionary measure has no impact on planned vaccinations with AstraZeneca for people 60 and older because reports of possible side effects are mainly seen under 60 years of age,” health officials wrote in the Dutch government statement.

About 10,000 scheduled appointments for vaccinations have been scrapped as a result of the suspension of the vaccine, news agency ANP reported.

There have been 400,000 AstraZeneca injections performed in the Netherlands. The country has recorded about 1.2 million cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, in total and more than 16,500 deaths.

Public Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said it is very important that recent reports in the Netherlands will be properly investigated.

“There should be no doubts whatsoever about the safety of vaccines,” he said. “The crucial question is still whether it concerns complaints after vaccination or due to vaccination. I think it is very important that the Dutch reports are also properly investigated.”

Reuters contributed to this report.