It sounds like the worst nightmare coming true. The number of deaths in Norway after the Covid-19 vaccination has reached 29. Those who died were elderly people, above the age of 75. They were given the shots of Pfizer BioNtech vaccines. When the drive started on 27 December 2020 in Norway, the intent was to protect the elderly people first from the novel coronavirus, but the death reports have raised a serious concern over the vaccine.
The question is what went wrong in the Scandinavian country. Why is the vaccine killing people when it was supposed to save them from Covid-19?
As of now, no concrete answer seems forthcoming. Biopharma company Pfizer, along with its partner BioNtech, has initiated an investigation into the deaths. And the explanations given by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and Norwegian Medicines Agency are tad disheartening than consoling.
While the entire world is shocked to hear the news of deaths after vaccinations, the NIPH and NMA reportedly say that ‘the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations.’
According to media reports, the NIPH said that the vaccine could have marginal or no benefit for those who did not have a long life span left anyway, and even mild side effects of the vaccine could have a severe impact on people with the most severe frailty.
The explanations further raise questions about the benefits of vaccines on the people falling in the above categories, and if they should be given the jabs despite the risks?
Because at worst people were prepared for the side effects like nausea, fever and other mild reactions on the body, not death. Though, the Norwegian Agency has now claimed that the risks involved in the process were conveyed to the people before vaccination, as common reactions like fever and nausea may also lead to death in some frail patients.
Till Saturday 25,000 people had received jabs of the vaccine in Norway. And reports of deaths have forced the authority to change its advisory on vaccination, leaving it up to the doctors to decide who should get the injection. The measure, however, should have been in place before the vaccination rollout in the country.
Norwegian authorities have also lowered the age bar to 75 from 80 for the group of people in the danger zone.
After emergency authorisation to its vaccine against Covid-19, Pfizer-BioNtech has been delivering vials to several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.
But with the cases of death linked to vaccines emerging in Norway, the biopharma company might suffer a setback. According to media reports, Australian authorities have decided to examine reports for adverse reactions of the vaccine on elderly people in Norway. The country has an agreement with Pfizer for 10 million doses of the vaccine.