The AstraZeneca vaccine is the first vaccine approved for use in the European Union.

This vaccine protects against the disease COVID-19.

You should know this further.

Who in the Netherlands receives this vaccine?

According to the most recent vaccination schedule, adults with a medical indication will be given the AstraZeneca vaccine from mid-February.

According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health (VWS), this group includes at least the risk groups for serious COVID-19 that the Health Council mentioned in November.

These are the following groups:

  • People with diabetes

  • People with cardiac dysfunction

  • People with abnormalities or functional disorders of the airways or lungs

  • Dialysis and kidney transplant patients

  • People with an immune disorder and people who have a reduced resistance to respiratory infections due to immunosuppressive medication

In addition, community nurses, employees of disabled institutions and mental health workers and clients are likely to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

From May onwards, adults under the age of 60 will also be vaccinated with this vaccine.

How well does this AstraZeneca vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

Two large studies show that the vaccine protects 60 percent of people 18 years and older against illness after being infected by the virus.

This means that out of 100 people who would get COVID-19 without the vaccine, 40 more will become ill after vaccination.

It offers 85 percent protection against the most serious symptoms in people who do get sick.

Because most of the participants in the AstraZeneca vaccine studies were younger, there is little evidence of its effectiveness in the over-55s.

According to the MEB, no clear conclusions can be drawn on this yet.

However, it has been proven that the vaccine is safe for that older target group.

More people over 55 are now participating in studies of the vaccine.

AstraZeneca says it expects more data soon.

The vaccine is believed to work for them too.

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How the AstraZeneca vaccine could be finished so quickly by a head start

How long does the vaccine work?

That is not known yet.

As with most corona vaccines, the AstraZeneca drug is still too new for that.

From what moment does this vaccine work?

The AstraZeneca vaccine, like the vaccine from Pfizer and Moderna, consists of two doses.

You are only 60 percent protected after the second dose.

The MEB recommends that the second dose be administered after 4 to 12 weeks.

Can you still spread the corona virus after vaccination?

It is not yet clear how well this vaccine prevents you from passing on the corona virus.

What are the main side effects?

Most people who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine experience pain at the site of the injection, tiredness and a feverish feeling.

The side effects are usually mild and usually last for about two to three days.

What about rare side effects?

In a study setting, approximately 24,000 people received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The British have also been vaccinating with this vaccine since the beginning of January.

Because of this we know the common and slightly less common side effects.

Very rare side effects, which for example only affect 1 in 50,000 people, can never be completely ruled out.

If a serious side effect is suspected, manufacturers must immediately report this to the EMA.

See also: This is the technology behind the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines

Who is this vaccine not suitable for?

The vaccine for AstraZeneca is approved for use in adults between the ages of 18 and 60.

Children and pregnant women are excluded from clinical studies.

That means there is no data on the safety of the vaccine in those groups.

The vaccine is not suitable for people who are allergic to any of the ingredients.

The ingredients can be found here.

Pregnant women are advised to consult their GP and to make a risk assessment about possible vaccination.

How does this vaccine work?

AstraZeneca's vaccine uses a cold virus that is found in chimpanzees.

This cold virus has changed in such a way that it can no longer multiply and therefore cannot possibly make you sick.

In addition, it has been ensured that the virus in the vaccine is adapted so that, if the virus is injected, it causes your body to produce small pieces of the corona virus.

You cannot get COVID-19 from these pieces, but they do train your immune system.

Through this training, your body can quickly defuse the coronavirus, in case you come into contact here again.

What if the coronavirus changes?

The coronavirus is constantly changing a bit.

Most of these changes have no effect on the effectiveness of vaccines.

It is possible, however, that changes occur that make vaccines less effective.

According to the British drug agency, there is no indication that the AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against those new variants of the coronavirus that have emerged in recent months.

Research is still being done on this.

Researchers at the University of Oxford, who were involved in the development of this vaccine, are investigating whether it is possible to modify the vaccine within 48 hours, if necessary.

See also: Five questions about the row between AstraZeneca and the EU over the vaccine supply