The number of casualties among those over the age of 75 in Norway who received their first Covid-19 vaccine shot recently, has risen to 29.

The deceased patients had received the Pfizer BioNTec vaccine against Covid-19. Over 20 000 doses of the vaccine have been administered over the past few weeks in Norway.

And considering that around 400 deaths normally occur among care home residents every week, the Norwegian Medicines Agency is yet to ascertain the connection between these deaths and the vaccine.

Also, the Norwegian Medicines Agency had communicated, prior to the vaccination, that when administering the shot to the oldest and sickest, it is expected that deaths will occur in a time-related context with vaccination. 

"This does not mean that there is a causal link between vaccination and death. We have also, in connection with the reported deaths, conveyed that it is possible that common and known side effects of the vaccines may have been a contributing factor to a serious course or fatal outcome," the agency said.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency has so far concluded that common adverse reactions of mRNA vaccines, such as fever, nausea, and diarrhoea, may have contributed to fatal outcomes in some of the frail patients.
NMA Medical Director Steinar Madsen said, "We are now asking for doctors to continue with the vaccination, but to carry out an extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it."

"Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated. Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment," he added.

A spokeswoman for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said that the company was 'aware of reported deaths' and is working with the Norwegian Medicines Agency 'to gather relevant data'.

"Norwegian authorities have prioritized the immunization of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some which are terminally ill. The Norwegian Medicine Agency confirms] the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations," the spokeswoman said.