Norway has changed its COVID-19 vaccination guide to state that “very frail” people should no longer receive the jab, citing 13 post-vaccine deaths in the country from side effects that appear to be linked to Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine.
“If you are very frail, you should probably not be vaccinated,” Steinar Madsen at the Norwegian Medicines Agency told reporters Thursday.
The change in guidance from the government agency and the National Institute of Public Health comes after it linked the deaths in the elderly and “frail” individuals” to side effects of the vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
The country has so far reported a total of 23 post-vaccine deaths out of roughly 25,000 shots. After examining 13 of the deaths, the agency said “side effects from the mRNA vaccines… may have led to deaths.”
Those who died were old and frail, according to initial reports, with all aged 80 and above.
“The reports might indicate that common side effects from mRNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, may have led to deaths in some frail patients,” said Sigurd Hortemo, chief physician at the agency.
The remaining deaths are yet to be assessed.
Madsen emphasized that many thousands of elderly and frail people have been vaccinated without a fatal outcome.
Vaccinations against the CCP virus with Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine began on Dec. 27 in the country. Oslo nursing home residents were among the first to be vaccinated.
Norway, which is part of the European single market but is not a member of the European Union, said in August it would get access to the vaccines that the EU obtains via deals negotiated with pharmaceuticals companies.
Pfizer’s vaccine is reported to have an efficacy rate of 95 percent and no serious safety concerns.
In November 2020, reports of side effects emerged from a Pfizer vaccine trial of more than 43,500 volunteers. Some noted injection site pain and aches comparable to the flu jab, while one test subject likened it to a “severe hangover.”
Stanley Wang, an Australian man who lives in Los Angeles, told Australia’s ABC News that the side effects were like experiencing a hangover.
“Side effects are equivalent to a severe hangover where you get headaches and don’t feel so well from it, and that lasts on average two days, but some people have reported up to five days,” he told the outlet.
Glenn Deshields, a 44-year-old volunteer from Austin, Texas, told Fox News in an interview that after taking the first shot, he experienced “a lot of injection site pain” and that the side-effects “were a little more severe than I thought.” He said he felt unwell for “maybe three to four days,” adding that the symptoms following the second injection were “much more muted.”
Patricia Stinchfield of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota said during a Nov. 23 meeting with the American Medical Association, told the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that these side effects are “immune responses.”
“So if you feel something after vaccination, you should expect to feel that. And when you do, it’s normal that you have some arm soreness or some fatigue or some body aches or even some fever,” she said, according to WebMD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pfizer, which produces the vaccine with BioNTech, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment by The Epoch Times.
Tom Ozimek and Reuters contributed to this report.