Norway expressed rising concern about the safety of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine in elderly people with significant underlying health problems after the number of deaths associated with Covid vaccine increased to 29.
What happened in Norway?
Norway expressed concern on Saturday about the safety of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine in elderly people with severe underlying medical conditions after at least 29 of them died within days of getting the injection.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency confirmed that the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was the only one available in Norway until Friday, and “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”
The deaths were recorded among very frail patients, including some who were anticipated to only have weeks or months to live. Norwegian authorities report that in recent years in aged care an average of around 400 deaths typically occurs each week.
The deaths were associated with fever, nausea and diarrhoea, which are relatively common short-lived effects that a number of people experience after vaccination. It is not expected that these common adverse reactions following immunisation will be of significance in the vast majority of individuals vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
Elderly nursing home residents accounted for over half of the deaths. Nine other people had significant side effects – including allergic reactions, extreme pain and severe fever – in addition to those who died.
Seven patients reported less serious side effects, including severe injection site pain. In total, Norway has recorded more than 57,000 cases and 500 coronavirus-related deaths.
Are Covid-19 vaccines too risky for elderly?
Just days after receiving the covid jab, thirteen nursing home residents – all at least 80 years of age – passed away.
Sigurd Hortemo, the chief physician of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said that typical reactions to the vaccine, such as nausea and fever, “may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients.”
The deaths come as the first jab of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine has been taken by more than 30,000 individuals in Norway, data shows.
And officials have said that the 23 deaths that could be linked to the vaccine “not alarmed” them.
Officials have maintained that they are “not alarmed.” despite almost two dozen people dying after administering the potentially lifesaving jab.
Here’s What Norwegian medical director says about the deaths
It is very clear that, with a slight exception for the frailest patients, these vaccinations have very little risk. Doctors must now decide carefully who should be vaccinated.
“Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment.”
In the nursing home population, nearly 400 individuals die per week, according to health officials.
We are now vaccinating the elderly in Norway and people with severe underlying diseases in nursing homes, so it is anticipated that deaths may occur near the time of vaccination.
What has the Pfizer said?
Pfizer and BioNTech are working to investigate the fatalities in Norway with the Norwegian regulator, Pfizer said in an e-mailed statement. Pfizer said the agency found that “the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations.”
“Norwegian authorities have prioritized the immunization of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill,” said a spokesman for Pfizer.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency confirms that the number of accidents to date has not been troubling and is in line with expectations. In order to assess if these events are linked to the vaccine, all reported deaths will be extensively investigated by the agency.
The Norwegian government would also recommend changing its vaccine instructions to take more into account the welfare of the patients.’