Norway upped the number of deaths under investigation, from 23 last week to 33, while in Germany, health officials said they are investigating 10 deaths that occurred among elderly patients who received the COVID vaccine.
China health experts say Norway and other countries should suspend the use of mRNA vaccines like those produced by Pfizer and Moderna, especially among the elderly, according to Global Times.
Norway health officials said last week they were investigating the deaths of 23 elderly people who died shortly after receiving the vaccine, and had confirmed 13 of those were directly related to the vaccine.
Today, Bloomberg reported that the number of deaths under investigation in Norway had risen to 33 and that all had occurred in people ranging from age 75 to 80. According to Bloomberg, Camilla Stoltenberg, head of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, said at a press conference today:
“It is important to remember that about 45 people die every day in nursing homes in Norway, so it is not a given that this represents any excess mortality or that there is a causal connection.”
The Norwegian Medicines Agency previously told Bloomberg that all of the deaths occurred in people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which until Friday was the only COVID vaccine approved for use in Norway.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, which had originally prioritized the elderly for the vaccine, has since revised its advice to urge more caution when vaccinating the elderly, especially those with underlying conditions.
The institute told Bloomberg that “for those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences. For those who have a very short remaining life span anyway, the benefit of the vaccine may be marginal or irrelevant.”