Twenty-three people died in Norway within days of receiving their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with 13 of those deaths, all nursing home patients, apparently related to the side effects of the shots.
Sigurd Hortemo, the chief physician at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said common reactions to the vaccine, including fever and nausea “may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients.”
In a Friday statement, Hortemo said all 13 were nursing home patients and at least 80 years old. While officials aren’t expressing serious concern, they are adjusting their guidance on who should receive the vaccine.
The news comes just over a week after officials reported the deaths of two nursing home residents after they received the Pfizer jab.
More than 30 000 people in Norway have received the first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine in the Scandinavian country since late last month, according to official figures.
Steinar Madsen, medical director with the agency, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that they “are not alarmed by this,” adding that “It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.” Madsen said:
Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated. Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment.
The agency reported on Thursday that a total of 29 people had suffered side effects, including the 13 people who died.
The world is still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and a number of countries are in the process of developing a vaccine.
This comes when there are some people urging members of the public, especially in Africa not to take the vaccines until they are proved to be safe to humans “in Western states” saying it might be tool to depopulate Africa.