Norway says no links between deaths and vaccine
Norway said on Monday no link had been established between Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine and post-vaccination deaths in the country, but recommended doctors consider the overall health of the most frail before giving them the jab.
Since the start of Norway’s vaccination campaign at the end of December, the country has registered 33 deaths among elderly people who have received their first dose, according to the country’s public health authorities.
Of the 13 cases analyzed in detail so far, “they are people of advanced age, are frail and have serious illnesses, all of them,” said Camilla Stoltenberg, director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. “When it comes to causes there hasn’t been any analysis done yet.”
She added: “It is important to remember that on average about 45 people die every day at nursing homes in Norway, so it’s not given that this represents any excess mortality or that they are related to the vaccines.”
After the reports of deaths, Norway has nonetheless stressed that doctors should individually consider whether patients who are frail or terminally ill should receive the vaccine.
“It’s not impossible that some of those who have gotten the vaccine are so frail that maybe you should have reconsidered and not given them the vaccine, because they are so sick that they might have become worse from the normal side effects as the body reacts and builds up immunity,” Stoltenberg said.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency said last week that normal side effects from messenger RNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, “may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients.”
A number of countries have reported post-inoculation deaths but no direct links to the vaccine have been established.
Pfizer and BioNTech said on Monday they were working with the NMA to collect all the relevant information.