Norway says there is no link between the COVID-19 vaccine and the deaths of several elderly recipients
Norway said Monday that no link had been established between Pfizer-BioNTechVaccine and all post-vaccination deaths in the country, but recommended doctors consider the general health of the most vulnerable before giving them the shot. Since the Norwegian vaccination campaign began in late December, the country has recorded 33 deaths in elderly people who received their first dose, according to health officials.
“The reports suggest that common side effects of mRNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, may have contributed to the worsening of their underlying diseases and a fatal outcome in some frail patients,” the Norwegian Medicines Agency told CBS News’ Steve Berriman. “The patients died of their underlying disease.”
Of the 13 cases analyzed in detail so far, “they are elderly, frail and all have serious illnesses,” the director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Camilla Stoltenberg, told reporters. “When it comes to causes, no analysis has been done yet,” she said.
“It’s important to remember that an average of 45 people die per day in nursing homes in Norway, so it’s not a given that this is an excessive mortality rate or that it is related to the vaccines,” she said.
Following the reports of deaths, Norway has stressed that doctors should consider individually whether frail or terminally ill patients should do soas recommended in some other countries.
“It is not impossible that some of those who have received the vaccine are so frail that you may have thought about not giving them the vaccine because they are so sick that the normal side effects have made them worse, when the body reacts and builds immunity, “Stoltenberg said.
A number of countries, including Norwegian neighbors Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland, have reported deaths after vaccination, but no direct links to the vaccine have been made.
Pfizer and BioNTech told CBS News on Monday that they are “working with the Norwegian Medicines Agency to collect all relevant information”.
They found that Norway’s vaccination campaign began with elderly people living in nursing homes, “most of whom are very elderly with underlying diseases and some of whom are terminally ill”.
“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved,” Pfizer said.
So far, more than 48,000 people have been vaccinated in Norway.
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