20.48 – GGD stops
The GGDs are canceling all 9,000 outstanding appointments for an injection with AstraZeneca’s corona vaccine. Among them are about 1,500 people aged 60 and over. They will soon receive an invitation for a new appointment. The health service hopes they will all be vaccinated by next week. They will then still receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The other 7500 appointments of people under the age of 60 will be canceled definitively. The GGDs vaccinate people who work in long-term care with AstraZeneca.
18.30 – GGD Rotterdam stops injecting at the airport
The vaccination site of the GGD at Rotterdam The Hague Airport will be temporarily closed next week. The GGD has planned too few appointments for corona pricks to keep the location open, says a spokeswoman for GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond. “That has to do with the situation around AstraZeneca,” she explains.
Six more vaccination locations will remain open in the region, including the XL location in the Van Nelle factory. A new location opened in Schiedam on Thursday. Residents can also get a corona pick from the former cruise ship SS Rotterdam and from sports centers in Capelle aan den IJssel, Spijkenisse and Sommelsdijk.
Injecting the corona vaccine from AstraZeneca has come to a complete standstill at the GGD.
18.00 – Streak through appointments AstraZeneca
The GGDs will also not vaccinate people with AstraZeneca’s corona vaccine on Friday. All 1,274 injection appointments are canceled. The injection break is extended by another day.
The Ministry of Health has not yet taken a decision on resuming vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The ministry is waiting for an emergency advice from the Health Council, which will probably arrive Thursday evening. It will then be too late to contact all the people who are expected at an injection location on Friday, according to the umbrella organization GGD GHOR Netherlands. He has therefore already decided not to vaccinate with AstraZeneca on Friday.
On Friday, the ministry decided not to administer the vaccine to people under the age of 60 for the time being. The umbrella organization GGD GHOR Netherlands then decided to cancel all remaining appointments of people over 60, in order to prevent waste. The GGDs give the vaccine to people who work in long-term care.
The European vaccine regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), concluded on Wednesday that there is likely a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare combination of blood clots (thrombosis) and a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). The watchdog does say that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the harms, and that the chance of dying from the coronavirus is greater than the chance of dying from the side effect.
17.00 – Only 28 rapid test locations were realized instead of 100
For the Testing for Access pilot, Minister Hugo de Jonge promised that there would now be 100 test locations. But there are only 28 of them, Trouw reports based on data from the Open Netherlands Foundation.
Those who want to have themselves tested to gain access prior to a day at the zoo, afternoon at the casino or a yoga class will in many cases still have to travel a long time. In February, De Jonge promised the Lower House that a hundred new test streets, especially for access tests, would be operational at the beginning of April. But there are now only 28 such test sites.
For residents of Drenthe, for example, who would like to participate in an activity this weekend, there is no other option than to travel to a test location in Leeuwarden or Groningen. There is none in Drenthe. Five additional test locations are expected to open around 16 April, including one in Assen.
Some activities already start on Friday.
15.35 – Testing will be free for border commuters Netherlands-Germany
Dutch and Germans who very regularly cross the border because of work, school or social contacts can have a corona rapid test done for free from Friday. The compulsory rapid test that Germany has been demanding from border commuters since the beginning of this week costs between 75 and 90 euros and has only limited validity. A family with high school students who go to school on the other side of the border lost hundreds of euros a week as a result. That is why the authorities on both sides of the border have intervened, says mayor Anton Stapelkamp of the border municipality of Aalten in the Achterhoek.
Germany has designated the Netherlands as a high-risk area for corona infections. The Dutch and people who come from the Netherlands must be able to show a recent negative rapid test in Germany. In some places that really lie on the Dutch-German border, this leads to special problems. In the village of Dinxperlo (municipality of Aalten) the border runs exactly through a street. The Dutch can get a hefty fine if they go to the other side of the street in Suderwick or get out of the car there. That is why, according to Stapelkamp, the search is now on for a general exception to the restrictions for this border village, which has nine hundred Dutch inhabitants on the German side.
13.40 – No more testing and quarantine obligation for Portugal
People who come to the Netherlands by plane from Portugal do not have to show a negative corona test from Friday and they no longer have to be quarantined. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports this on the website. There is still a test requirement when traveling to Portugal.
The relaxation of travel measures applies to mainland Portugal and the Azores. For people coming from the island of Madeira, there is still a test obligation and the mandatory ten days in quarantine.
The travel advice from the ministry remains unchanged: only go abroad, including Portugal, if really necessary. Due to the declining number of new corona infections in Portugal, travel measures have been relaxed somewhat. Limited traffic is possible between Portugal and neighboring Spain.
12:00 – Eight reports of thrombosis and low platelet count
Side effect center Lareb has so far received eight reports of rare, dangerous side effects that can occur after injection with AstraZeneca’s corona vaccine. These are women between 23 and 65 years old. They experienced the side effect of blood clot formation (thrombosis) in combination with a low platelet count.
Four patients had extensive pulmonary embolisms, according to the center. One died and one also had a brain haemorrhage. Another patient had extensive abdominal vein thrombosis. One patient developed blood clots in the arteries in the legs. Two patients developed a so-called sinus thrombosis. This is a serious and rare form of thrombosis.
The complaints arose 7 to 20 days after vaccination.
According to Lareb, about 400,000 people have received the AstraZeneca vaccine so far. “The number of reports does not say how often it occurs. Now that everyone is paying attention to this, this side effect will usually be reported. But it is not certain that everything is reported, and not everything that is reported is actually a side effect, ”the side effect center says.
Lareb also indicates that people who have received the vaccine should contact their doctor if they develop certain complaints. These are complaints that occur three or more days after the vaccination. These include shortness of breath, pain in the chest or abdomen, a thick, red and painful leg or arm, severe headache, multiple small bruises, or blood blisters under the skin.
11.47 – ‘Plans for relaxation are striking, hospitals are about to collapse’
Medical microbiologist and OMT member Marc Bonten is wary of the easing that the cabinet has in store for two weeks, according to sources from The Hague. Certainly in combination with the hundreds of events that the cabinet wants to allow for people who are tested for the corona virus. Bonten called it “striking” on Radio 1 that several relaxation options are being proposed “while the hospitals are about to collapse.”
“The situation in hospitals is really bad at the moment. It is very busy ”, says Bonten. According to insiders, the cabinet wants to reopen the terraces from 21 April and lift the curfew. At the same time, numerous events are again possible from this month. These are generally small-scale and visitors must do a test beforehand.
Still, Bonten is not reassured. “We will not empty the hospitals in two weeks,” he said. “And 20 percent of the nursing staff are sick at home. So these are conflicting interests. ”
The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) will study the plans for relaxation and advise on this. Only then will the cabinet take a final decision.
Other prominent health care professionals have expressed themselves more positively about the trial events and the possible opening of terraces. Chairman Ernst Kuipers of the National Network Acute Care (LNAZ) said on Tuesday that reopening terraces is “sensible policy” if it leads to better compliance with the corona measures, as mayors of the major cities have said.
Chairman of the Dutch Intensive Care Association (NVIC) Diederik Gommers indicated that he is happy with trial events, provided they do not lead to increased corona risks. “And all measures must be maintained.”
11.25 – Artis starts ticket sales on Monday for the trial opening
Artis opens its gates on the weekend of 16, 17 and 18 April. The Amsterdam zoo is participating in the Testing for access program, a test with the weather restricted admission of the public at locations and at events. Visitors can reserve a starting time from Monday morning at 10:00 am.
Artis is participating in the test opening, which also applies to many other attractions and events. It was announced on Wednesday that 5000 visitors are allowed to visit the zoo every day. Other large animal parks such as Blijdorp may also allow between 2000 and 4000 visitors per day.
Artis is now making all the preparations necessary for the three-day opening. The zoo is severely affected by the financial consequences of the corona crisis due to the prolonged closure. With the nationwide support campaign #forgetARTISniet, which started at the end of January, more than 1.3 million euros was previously raised. This means that the animal park is not yet out of financial worries. Artis expects a deficit of 21 million euros in the coming years.
6.35 – Cabinet makes a decision about pricking with AstraZeneca
The Health Council will probably issue an opinion on the corona vaccine from AstraZeneca in the course of Thursday evening. This vaccine is not currently being administered to people under the age of 60 because of possible side effects.
Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health had asked for the emergency advice on Wednesday. As soon as the advice is ready, he wants to make a decision about the vaccine.
The European vaccine watchdog, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), determined on Wednesday that there is likely a link between the vaccine and a rare and dangerous combination of complaints. Several dozen people in Europe have developed both blood clots (thrombosis) and a low number of platelets (thrombocytopenia) after injecting AstraZeneca.
A few reports are also known in the Netherlands. A woman died after a vaccination. The EMA believes that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the disadvantages, because the chance of dying from the coronavirus is significantly greater than the chance of dying from a side effect.
6.30 – FNV discusses fund for healthcare workers with Covid with minister
The FNV will talk with healthcare minister Tamara van Ark on Thursday about a government fund for healthcare workers who have become infected with the corona virus and are also suffering financial damage from it. The union wants a contribution towards the costs incurred during the first and second year of illness and for any incapacity for work.
“The government has been negligent and we believe that it should now come up with a safety net for the care workers who have taken on their social responsibility. They carried on at the risk of their own lives and are now also experiencing financial damage as a result. For example, if they are ill for a year as a result of corona, they often have to hand in 30 percent of their wages, ”says vice president Kitty Jong of the FNV trade union.
There is already another fund for duped care workers, the Care after Working in Corona Care (ZWiC) foundation. The government contributed to this private fund, but the FNV does not think that is enough. The FNV also wants reimbursements for much more costs, such as the loss of the deductible.