Norway: 23 people die after taking coronavirus vaccine; caution raised

17 Janvier, 2021, 15:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Norway: 23 people die after taking coronavirus vaccine; caution raised

At least 13 Israelis have suffered mild facial paralysis as a side effect after getting the Pfizer vaccine, media reported, citing health ministry officials.

Norway has issued a tale of caution for the old and terminally ill people who are being administered the coronavirus vaccine after 23 people died in the countries shortly after receiving a jab of the vaccine.

"We are not alarmed by this", Steinar Madsen, medical director with the agency, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The country, however, adjusted its advisory on who gets the Covid-19 vaccine, leaving it up to each doctor to consider who should be vaccinated, AP reported.

"There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not unsafe in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly", he told the BMJ.

"Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated".

"The large studies on Comirnaty (BioNTec/Pfizer) did not include patients with unstable or acute illness - and included few participants over 85 years of age", the Norwegian Medicines Agency said.

"I spoke to Greg Hunt the Health Minister this morning, who has asked the Therapeutic Goods Administration to run a deep rollout of drugs and medicines in Australia, and they will ask the Norwegian authorities and they will also ask the Pfizer company for their answers in response to what has happened", he told Sunrise.

"[Foreign Minister] Marise Payne will task [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] DFAT to seek advice directly from the Norwegian Government".

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"So as further information is available, we'll share that with the Australian public", Mr Hunt said.

"There is no change in our time frames at this point, but the medical regulator is completely empowered to make independent decisions".

Of 29 cases of potential adverse reactions to the vaccine, 21 of them were in people 80 years or older, says a report released this week by the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

Vaccinations are due to start next month.

The Israeli government signed a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech in November for 8 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine. We have other options, of course, with AstraZeneca, as well as Novavax.

"That is absolute paramount, it will be safe", Mr McCormack added.

The New South Wales Australian Medical Association president Danielle McMullen said Australians should have confidence in the local vaccine approval process.

At the same time, just under three-quarters say mask wearing should be compulsory.

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