The Dutch cabinet has asked the national health council Gezonheidsraad if the AstraZeneca vaccine can also be used on people over the age of 65, following earlier concerns about its efficacy among older people.
The vaccine is currently being used for people aged 60 to 64, people with morbid obesity and with Down’s syndrome. However, researchers in Scotland and England have concluded that the vaccine is effective among the over-65s after all.
If this is the case, then the Netherlands can step up vaccinating people who are most vulnerable to coronavirus, and speed up the vaccination programme as a whole, De Jonge said.
He has also asked the health council to assess whether people who have had coronavirus are properly protected if given one dose of the vaccine rather than two.
Meanwhile, the health council has said that there is no evidence so far to prove that taking extra vitamin D can protect against catching the virus, but nor can it be ruled out.
Nevertheless, while there is evidence that vitamin D can protect against other acute infections of the airways, this research does not merit a change in the current vitamin D recommendations, the health council said.
Children up to the age of 4, people who get little exposure to the sun or have dark skins, pregnant women, women over the age of 50 and men over the age of 70 are currently recommended to take vitamin D supplements.
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