Dutch halt AstraZeneca jab for under-60s

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The Dutch government has temporarily halted AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccinations for people under 60 following reports of very small number of people suffering unusual blood clots after receiving the shot.

The decision in the Netherlands comes three days after authorities in Germany also stopped using the AstraZeneca's vaccine in under-60s, also citing fresh concerns over unusual blood clots reported in a tiny number of people who received the shots.

A Dutch organisation that monitors vaccine side effects on Friday said it had received five reports of blood clots with low blood plate counts following vaccinations.

All the cases occurred between seven and 10 days after the vaccinations and all the people affected were women aged between 25 and 65 years.

The organisation said in the period when the five cases were reported, some 400,000 people were vaccinated in the Netherlands with the AstraZeneca shot.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge says the temporary halt is a precautionary measure.