The Netherlands is halting AstraZeneca coronavirus jabs for people aged under 60 after fresh reports of rare blood clots, Dutch health authorities said on Friday.
The move comes after five new cases in the Netherlands affecting women between 25 and 65 years of age, the health ministry said in a statement.
“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 said in a statement.
The suspension of AstraZeneca jabs lasts until April 7 when the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to come out with fresh advice on the issue, he said.
Germany had taken a similar decision earlier this week, the health ministry noted.
Around 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 EMA said on Wednesday it believes the AstraZeneca jab is safe and that experts have found no specific risk factors such as age, gender or medical history.
However it said it would release an “updated recommendation” after its safety committee meets next week, the Amsterdam-based regulator said.