People who have tested positive for coronavirus within the past six months will only have to have one dose of vaccine, public health institute RIVM said on Friday.
Experts say that the immunity resulting from the infection plus one jab of vaccine is enough to offer sufficient protection and the change in policy, recommended by the Dutch health board, had been expected.
People who have had Covid-19 up to six months ago and have already had one dose are now being asked to cancel the second appointment, The change does not apply for people with vulnerable health conditions and those who had coronavirus more than six months ago.
The new approach may lead to the current vaccination programme being speeded up because the doses which had been reserved for second jabs can now be used to vaccinate others. Over one million people in the Netherlands are thought to have had coronavirus so far.
The recommendation applies to all three vaccines currently being used in the Netherlands – AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
Meanwhile, side effects monitoring group Lareb said on Friday that one Dutch woman has died after being given the AstraZeneca vaccine, although no link has yet been shown between her symptoms and the vaccine.
The woman had a lung embolism and a cerebral haemorrhage, Lareb said.
In total, Lareb has had five reports of thrombosis seven to 10 days after the AstraZeneca injection, all involving women aged 25 to 65. In total, some 400,000 people were given the AstraZeneca vaccine during the period the problems were reported.
The Dutch medical assessment agency is currently examining the reports and will make a statement later on Friday.
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