People in their early 60s who refused an AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine will be offered an alternative in the near future after all, health minister Hugo de Jonge has told MPs.
Earlier the minister had said that people had to take whatever vaccine they were offered or go without. This time round they will be called up by their local health board rather than family doctor and will be given either a Pfizer, Moderna or Janssen vaccine, De Jonge said.
More than 16,000 people had signed a petition calling on the government to offer them an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to very rare blood clots and is only used on the over 60s in the Netherlands.
‘I am 100% for vaccination and I am convinced it is the only way out of the pandemic,’ signatory René Vlietstra told current affairs programme Nieuwsuur. ‘But I do not have thrombosis or issues with my blood platelets and I am not planning to introduce something into my body which could increase my chances of developing them.’
It is unclear how many people refused the AstraZeneca vaccine and the RIVM estimates that the majority of 60 to 64-year-olds have been vaccinated at least once.
However some family doctors told Nieuwsuur that up to 70% of their patients had failed to show up for a jab. And anecdotal evidence would indicate that many have an ethnic minority background.
Research published by national statistics agency CBS last week showed that 70% of people do plan to be vaccinated or have already received at least one jab.
The number of vaccine doses administered in the Netherlands has now topped 9.3 million and people born in the early 1980s are now being called up to make an appointment.
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