(CMR) As the discussions continue over the AstraZeneca vaccine's safety, Netherlands has decided to halt its use of the vaccine temporarily.
The country decided not to give persons below 60 years old the vaccine; however, officials later agreed to stop using the vaccine among all age groups until April 7.
The decision comes days after authorities in Germany also stopped using AstraZeneca’s vaccine in the below-60s, citing fresh concerns over unusual blood clots reported in a small number of those who received the shots.
On Friday, a Dutch organization that monitors vaccine side effects said it had received five reports of blood clots with low blood platelet counts following vaccinations. One person also reportedly died.
All the cases occurred between seven and 10 days after the vaccinations,, and all the people affected were women aged between 25 and 65.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge says the temporary halt is a precautionary measure, Aljazeera reported.
“I think it is very important that the Dutch reports are also properly investigated,” de Jonge said. “We must err on the side of caution.”
The EU medicines agency on the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to give a report on the vaccine sometime this week.
Several European countries had stopped using the vaccine over concerns of blood clot; however, most have since resumed using it.
Canada has suspended use of the vaccine for people below 55 years old while Berlin has suspended giving persons below 60 years old the vaccine.