“We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the trailer patients. Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated.”
Steinar Madsen, Medical Director – Norwegian Medicines Agency
(CMR) Questions are being raised about the serious side effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine after at least 23 elderly patients have died in Norway days after receiving the vaccine. Despite that officials have insisted there is little need for concern because the vaccines “have very little risk.”
This has prompted the European Medicines Agency said Covid-19 vaccines may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill.
The deaths were related to side effects from the injection which can include allergic reactions, strong discomfort and severe fever. Norwegian Medicines Agency's Chief Physician, Sigurd Hortemo, said in a statement Friday that these common reactions “may have contributed to a flat outcome in some frail patients. This has caused medicinal officials there to issue additional advisories for elderly and frail people.
Over half of the fatalities are from nursing homes. 13 of them were over the age of 80. More than 30,000 people in Norway have been vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Nine had serious side effects while seven had less serious ones including pain at the injection site.
A Pfizer rep said the pharmaceutical giant is “aware of reported deaths” following the administration of the vaccine in Norway and is working with the Norwegian Medicines Agency “to gather all the relevant information.”
They noted that because the Norweigan authorities have prioritized the immunization of residents in nursing homes with underly medical conditions including some that are terminally ill this is in line with expectations. They are committed to working with the Norweigan regulators to investigate the deaths.
During the European drug trials, the average age of participants was people in their early 50s. Many countries have been rushing to innoculate the most vulnerable citizens which include elderly nursing home residents.
Normal has more than 57,000 cases and 500 coronavirus-related deaths according to John Hopkins University data.