Health officials said 20 people died in Norway within days of receiving their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with 13 of those people – all nursing home patients – apparently from the side effects of the shots. Are related.
Common reactions to the vaccine, including fever and nausea, “may contribute to a fatal outcome in some malignant patients,” Sigurd Hortemo, chief physician of the Norwegian Medicine Agency, said in a Friday statement.
All 13 were nursing home patients and were at least 80 years old. While officials are not expressing serious concern, they are adjusting their guidance as to who should receive the vaccine.
The news comes a week after authorities reported the deaths of just two nursing home residents after receiving the Pfizer jab.
According to official figures, more than 30,000 people from Norway have received their first shot of the Pfizer or Modern Coronavirus vaccine in the Scandinavian country since the end of last month.
“We’re not worried about it,” said the agency’s medical director, Steinen Madsen. “It is quite clear that these vaccines carry very little risk, a small exception for younger patients.”
“Doctors should now carefully consider who should be vaccinated,” he said. “People who are very vulnerable and at the end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment.”
The agency reported on Thursday that a total of 29 people suffered ill effects, killing 13 people.
Twenty-one women and eight men experienced side effects, officials said.
In addition to those who died, nine had serious side effects – including an allergic reaction, severe discomfort and severe fever – while seven had less severe ones, including severe pain at the injection site.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been a total of over 57,000 cases and 500 coronovirus-related deaths in Norway.
Health officials said that about 400 people die each week in the nursing home population.
A Pfizer representative said that the pharmaceutical giant is “aware of reported deaths” after administering the vaccine in Norway and is working with the Norwegian Medicines Agency “to collect all related information.”
“The authorities in Norway have prioritized the vaccination of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are elderly with underlying medical conditions and some who are ill,” a spokesman said in a statement. “[The Norwegian Medicine Agency confirms] The number of incidents so far is not alarming, and is in line with expectations. “
“All reported deaths will be fully evaluated [the agency] To determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine, ”she said. “The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to keep patients’ health in mind.”