Norway has recorded 33 deaths of elderly people who received a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine since the start of the country’s vaccination campaign in late December.
Several countries have also reported post-vaccination deaths but health authorities believe they are not related to the vaccine.
Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland have all reported post-vaccination deaths. There were also reports that 55 people in the United States have died after getting vaccinated. (Related: Compilation of recent stories and videos covering covid vaccine injuries, side effects and DEATHS.)
Norwegian Institute of Public Health Director Camilla Stoltenberg noted that there are 45 people who die every day in medical facilities in Norway. “It’s not a given that this represents any excess in mortality or that the deaths are related to the vaccines,” she said
While there is still no link established between the vaccine and the deaths, Norway has reiterated in recent days its recommendation for a medical evaluation before the vaccine is administered to a very fragile or dying person.
“It is not impossible that some of those who are offered vaccination are so fragile…that it is not worth the trouble to vaccinate them because they can potentially see their condition deteriorate. Those effects are normal,” said Stoltenberg on Monday, Jan. 18.
So far, more than 48,000 out of 5.4 million people have been vaccinated in Norway.
The rollout of the vaccines in Norway is continuing as planned although doctors in the country are now being instructed to carefully consider whether to vaccinate people who are very frail or at the end of their life.
Norway officials were also investigating the deaths of the elderly patients who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
They were looking into the prospect that adverse reactions to the vaccine “may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients.”
According to Sigurd Hortemo, chief physician at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, reports of adverse reactions with a fatal outcome suggest that common adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients.
Rare side effects usually emerge after a vaccine or a drug has been released in the real world and tested on millions of people.
After giving at least one dose to more than 11 million people, health authorities in the U.S. are starting to see rare instances of severe, albeit treatable, allergic reactions to some Covid-19 vaccines.
These rare but serious side effects are the reasons why regulators and health authorities continue to closely monitor vaccines even after they’ve been approved for use.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency said in a statement that all deaths that occur within days of the vaccination will be investigated.
“We cannot rule out that adverse reactions (such as fever and nausea) to the vaccine occurring within the first days following vaccination may contribute to more serious course and fatal outcome in patients with severe underlying disease,” the statement read.
On Jan. 14, Norwegian officials changed the country’s vaccination guide and said “very frail” people should not receive the shot. “If you are very frail, you should probably not be vaccinated,” Steinar Madsen of the Norwegian Medicines Agency told reporters.
Pfizer and BioNTech told news outlets on Monday, Jan. 18, that they are now working with the Norwegian Medicines Agency to gather all the relevant information following the deaths. “Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families,” Pfizer said.
Pfizer also recalled that the Norwegian vaccination campaign started with the elderly living in medical establishments, noting that “most of them are very old with illnesses and some are terminally ill.”
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