The Netherlands joined a fast-increasing list of nations on Sunday, suspending the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine following reports of unprecedented possible side effects from the dose. According to the Dutch government, the novel coronavirus vaccine will not be used until March 29 as a precaution. 

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Along with the nation's halt of the use of the coronavirus vaccine, investigators probe into cases of blood clots among inoculated people. According to Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge, the halt would last at least two weeks, as the Netherlands awaits further guidance from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Europe's regulator.

The Dutch government announced on Sunday that on the basis of new information, the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG) has recommended as a precautionary measure and pending further probing to pause the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine. New information also emerged on blood clots, reported Business Today.

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The directive follows a similar decision by Ireland earlier in the day. It is based on reports from Norway and Denmark of probable severe side effects, the government stated. According to health authorities, three health workers in Norway who had recently been administered the vaccine were hospitalized for blood clots, bleeding, and a low count of blood platelets, reported Channel News Asia.

The declaration will lead to delays in disseminating shots in the country. It had pre-ordered 12 million shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency, there is no indication of an association between the vaccine and reports of blood clots. Experts stated cases of clotting in vaccinated people are lower than the number seen in the general population, reported BBC.

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Health authorities had scheduled an estimated 290,000 AstraZeneca jabs in the coming two weeks. No such cases as in Norway had been detected yet in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch Health ministry. It added that there was no evidence yet of a connection between the vaccine and the reports from Norway and Denmark. 

The suspension followed the Dutch vaccine regulator, the Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB), adivising the Netherlands to pause the dissemination of the doses due to possible side effects reported. Thailand, Iceland, Ireland, and Bulgaria have also halted distribution of AstraZeneca's shot.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency on Saturday stated more cases of blood clotting had been discovered in adults who were administered the AstraZeneca vaccine doses. According to Austria, it was probing into the death of an inoculated woman from multiple thromboses.

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The Dutch government remarked that it would now wait for a probing by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).  According to Dutch Health minister Hugo de Jonge, they cannot allow doubts regarding the vaccine. He added they have to ensure everything is right, so it is the right decision to pause as of the moment. According to AstraZeneca on Sunday, a review of safety information of vaccinated individuals with its COVID-19 vaccine has displayed no proof of an increased risk of blood clots.

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