The Dutch Ministry of Health announced Sunday to suspend for two weeks the use of the vaccine developed by the Swedish-British laboratory AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, after the report of cases of blood clots in particular in Denmark and Norway.
The Lareb center, which is responsible for identifying the risks associated with the use of drugs in the Netherlands, said Monday that it “received ten reports on the AstraZeneca vaccine, in which thrombosis or embolism may have played a role “.
No cases of decreased platelet count have been reported yet, Lareb said in a statement.
The Health Ministry had previously said that no cases of blood clots were currently known in the Netherlands.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said on Sunday that it was “wise to press the pause button now as a precaution”.
“The crucial question is whether these are complaints after vaccination or due to vaccination. There should be no doubt about the vaccines,” he said, quoted in a statement.
Almost 289,000 appointments for the administration of a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine had to be canceled as a result, the Dutch news agency ANP reported.
The suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine is a blow to the Dutch vaccination campaign, which has gained momentum in recent weeks after a slow start.
A dozen countries including Germany, the latest to date, have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution, after the reporting of side effects “possible” but without a proven link at this stage.
The Netherlands was the last EU country to launch their vaccination campaign. The country has so far recorded more than 1.1 million cases of coronavirus, and 16,000 deaths, according to the latest official figures.