Health Council awaits information from EMA for new AstraZeneca advice

The Health Council is awaiting information from the European Medicines Agency EMA and hopes to be able to consider a new opinion on the AstraZeneca vacccin ‘as soon as possible’. Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge had asked for this. He wants to know whether new information from the EMA gives cause “to lower the age limit above which the AstraZeneca vaccine can be used.”

“If the report with the underlying data of the EMA is published, we can get to work,” said a spokesperson for the Health Council. He expects to receive that information “one of these days.” It is difficult to predict how long it will take after that. “As soon as possible, of course.”

On Friday, after further study of the vaccine, the EMA reported that its benefits outweigh the harms for all adults. In other words: the vaccine will prevent much more corona infections than it will cause side effects. Currently, AstraZeneca injections are only performed on 60 to 64 year olds.

11.50 – Island state of Fiji fears ‘tsunami’ from corona infections

Fiji managed to keep out new corona infections for a year, but now the island state in the Pacific fears a ‘tsunami’ of infections. A recent outbreak has been attributed to the Indian variant of the virus, health authorities said Tuesday. 42 cases have been identified so far.

Health Minister James Fong said he wanted to avoid a “nightmare” like the one in India, in Fiji. “We still have time to prevent this, but a small mistake leads to the same corona tsunami as in India, Brazil and South Africa.”

Due to strict isolation and border controls, Fiji has largely been able to ward off the virus, so far corona has only killed two people. But one soldier was infected at a quarantine location. He passed the virus on to his wife, who then exposed 500 people to the virus at a funeral. According to Fong, soldiers returning from abroad do not obey quarantine rules. He calls that “unacceptable.”

8.55 – People from 1961 also receive a vaccination invitation

On Thursday, the first people born in 1961 will receive an invitation for a corona vaccination. These are people who turn 60 this year. They can schedule an appointment online from Tuesday via www.coronavaccinatie-afspraak.nl for a vaccination at the GGD.

There they receive the vaccine from BioNTech / Pfizer. It concerns almost 250,000 people.

The invitations for people born in 1961 hit the mat from Thursday, April 29 to Saturday, May 1. The GGD has now opened more than 100 vaccination locations where people can go for a vaccination.

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport determines the order in which groups are vaccinated. The guideline for this is the advice issued by the Health Council.

7.07 – Tuesday evening last curfew

In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the curfew applies for the last time. The cabinet instituted the rule to prevent parties and visits and thus prevent further spread of the corona virus. Wednesday morning 04.30 am, the Netherlands is no longer this measure.

From Saturday 23 January, the Dutch were only allowed to be on the street between 9 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. with a valid statement, for example to walk the dog or to work. People who are on the street without an explanation risk a fine of 95 euros. On March 31, the cabinet extended the rule by one hour due to summer time. The curfew was then applied between 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.

Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte said earlier that the contamination figures and pressure on healthcare are still extremely high. Yet he abolishes the measure. Rutte said that he finds the relaxation incredibly exciting, but according to him it is not possible to get out of the corona crisis with zero risk.

Police have handed out about 6,000 curfew fines per week since the measure was introduced.

7.01 – India deploys army to help fight coronavirus

For the sixth day in a row, more than 300,000 new corona infections have been registered in India. The country’s armed forces have pledged to provide medical assistance to combat the massive spike in infections.

In the past 24 hours, 323,144 new cases were added, slightly less than the worldwide record number of 352,991 set Monday. Hospitals cannot cope with the enormous influx of new patients and are forced to send people away due to a shortage of beds and oxygen. In the past 24 hours, 2,771 deaths have been reported, although health experts believe the actual number is much higher.

Several countries, including the Netherlands, Thailand, Bangladesh and Great Britain, have taken measures to restrict travel from India to prevent new virus variants from entering their borders. Australia will consider a proposal to suspend flights from India later in the day.

6.45 – Weekly figures RIVM: rising line in infections not over yet

In the past week, more corona infections have probably again come to light than the week before. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) will announce the exact number on Tuesday and describe the corona situation in the country in a weekly report.

In the six days since the previous reporting, 49,750 positive test results have been recorded. With an average of more than 8,000 cases per day, chances are that the total number will exceed that of a week earlier. At that time, the RIVM recorded 53,981 positive corona tests. That was an increase of 5.3 percent from the week before. Another week earlier, the increase was 6 percent. Fewer people got tested around Easter, which resulted in a decrease of 7 percent.

In the weekly update, RIVM also calculates how many people were admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 in the past week and how many people died as a result of their corona infection. The institute also provides figures on the vaccination campaign. According to calculations on the government’s corona dashboard, more than 5 million injections have been taken in the fight against the virus.

The reproduction number is also recalculated. That happens twice a week. Last Friday it was at 1.03. That means that 100 people who carry the virus infect on average 103 others. By default, RIVM looks back two weeks in time, because otherwise it cannot provide a reliable figure. The reproduction figure of 1.03 therefore refers to the situation as it was on April 8.

6.30 – School holiday planning does not play a role in vaccination planning

When sending invitations for vaccinations, school holidays and their distribution are not specifically taken into account. The shot sequence is based on age and not on regional differences in holiday dates, a spokesperson for the RIVM told NU.nl.

Most people receive an invitation based on their year of birth. Parents get their turn earlier than, for example, any adult children. This order is only deviated from if there is a medical reason to vaccinate someone earlier.

Any hope that northerners (who are the first to get school holidays) will be vaccinated first and can travel vaccinated this summer is therefore not right. Those two things are separate from each other.

People do not have to worry about missing their appointment in the summer because they are on vacation. After receiving their invitation, they can indicate on which day they want to be pricked.

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