He had been offered an injection of AstraZeneca, but rejected it for fear of developing blood clotting. Now he is fighting for his life in a Dutch hospital, on assisted ventilation. It is the tragic story of a covid-19 patient with which Dutch doctors demand to use all vaccines available.
The open letter of these Dutch health workers, accompanied by an X-ray of the lungs of their patient that does not leave indifferent, is addressed to the acting Minister of Health, Hugo de Jonge, in a critique of the stoppage of use of Janssen, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson, and the age limitations imposed on the use of AstraZeneca.
“Today the first patient admitted to our hospital had refused to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after all the commotion in the press. We hear the tremendous regret in his voice and the despair in his eyes. The virus has attacked him and it could have been prevented. With your permission, we share your lung scan. You don’t have to be a lung specialist to recognize the devastation, or an epidemiologist to explain the risks of not being vaccinated“, they alerted.
Netherlands has stored since Monday 80,000 dose of the Janssen pending a scientific recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on its safety and its possible relationship with six cases of unusual blood clotting in the United States, the only country that has already used this single-dose vaccine.
In addition, and after the EMA alerted of a AstraZeneca “possible link” with dozens of cases of thromboembolism very rare in people who received the injection, the Netherlands decided to use it only in people over 60 years of age, an age group where this preparation has shown fewer cases of this side effect.
After the debates about AstraZeneca and the differences that European countries have shown on whether or not to continue vaccination with this preparation, 42% of those over 60 still unvaccinated in the Netherlands they refused to get this vaccine, according to an I&O survey commissioned by Dutch television NOS.
The signatories of the letter published this Friday, who are employees of the Zuyderland medical center, in the southeast of the Netherlands, have warned that “the risk of serious harm caused by covid-19 is ten times higher for people in their 40s. and 70 times higher for 60-year-olds, who the risk of serious damage from thrombosis“of the vaccine.
“Up to now, we have treated more than 3,000 patients with coronavirus And, while (you) talk to experts about reopening society to offer perspective, we still see the tremendous consequences of this disease on a daily basis, “they lamented.
The Dutch Executive presented last Tuesday a plan to “reopen society responsibly” in the coming weeks and end the curfew as of April 28, but it conditioned it to control a third wave of infections that is unleashed, so this promise runs the risk of not being fulfilled until May.
This approach is highly criticized by those working on the front line against covid-19. “Employees legitimately wonder why they should continue to provide care without adequate protection, while the vaccines wait in the refrigerator, “they denounced.
These doctors demand that the minister “stop delaying (vaccination) and cause concern” and reminded him that “the figures show that the benefits of mass vaccination are overwhelming and they don’t lie. “
“Let people choose if they want to avoid a situation like that of our patient,” they urged, asking to make available “AstraZeneca, Janssen or any other vaccine” and they advocated, like the majority in parliament, for “voluntary vaccination on the basis of informed consent.”
In addition, as a conclusion to their letter, they threatened to use without permission the doses of AstraZeneca that they have in the fridge on the employees and doctors of the hospital from Monday, and warned that they will no longer “willfully and knowingly cooperate with preventable harm” through vaccination.