File Photo: Xinhua
The deaths of 16 elderly people in Switzerland after being inoculated with the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines underscore the potential danger of mRNA vaccines for the age group, Chinese vaccine experts said, also calling for caution.
At least 16 people died after receiving vaccines in Switzerland, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutics (Swissmedic) said, citing Sputnik in a report on Saturday.
The agency said it had obtained about 364 suspected adverse drug reactions, with 199 incidents related to the vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and 154 to the Moderna drug, according to the report.
Swissmedic said the average age of the deaths was 86 and most of them had pre-existing diseases, adding that there was no evidence to suggest that vaccines were the cause of death.
Chinese experts said the incidents need to be carefully assessed to understand whether the deaths were caused by the vaccines or other pre-existing conditions in these people.
Norway previously reported 23 vaccine-related deaths, all of which were over 80 years old. BioNTec / Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were used in Norway.
A Chinese immunologist who requested anonymity told the Global Times that large-scale use of mRNA vaccines carries the risk of causing abnormal immune dysfunction, allergy or even death, especially among the elderly and people with underlying diseases.
The immunologist suggested that people with pre-existing conditions, the elderly, and people with vulnerable immunity should not get vaccinated.
The Global Times found that major Western media outlets have downplayed deaths related to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and also the 16 deaths in Switzerland.
Some observers questioned the veracity of claims that the sporadic deaths were not related to vaccines, and asked Western media to report the deaths fairly.