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Norway health officials have “adjusted their advice” after reporting that 23 elderly people died shortly after receiving COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Associated Press (AP) and other media outlets.
Some officials told AP they’re “not alarmed” by the deaths and will continue to support the country’s vaccination program, though they will now recommended elderly patients consult their doctors before getting the vaccine.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency has so far assessed only 13 of the 23 reported deaths. All 13 occurred in people 80 or older living in nursing homes, and all were determined to be directly linked to the vaccine, the agency told Norway Today.
The agency didn’t disclose which vaccines were administered to those who died, but according to Bloomberg, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, approved late last year in Norway, and Moderna’s vaccine, approved earlier this month, are the two being administered in the country.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) this week pushed harder to open vaccinations to people 65 and older, following their advice in mid-December to get vaccines out quickly to frontline workers and people 74 and older.
“This is so disturbing,” said Lyn Redwood, RN, MSN president of Children’s Health Defense (CHD). “We have this population of elderly who have the greatest risk of getting COVID, and now we find out they are the ones who also have the greatest risk of death from having a fatal reaction to the vaccine.”
Redwood said that the science is clear: the elderly have weaker immune systems, which is why they’re more susceptible to COVID in the first place.
“We know from reports of adverse side effects in the U.S., these vaccines are delivering a big punch to young, healthy adults,” Redwood said. “It stands to reason that those side effects, some of which are debilitating, would be far worse in the frail elderly.”
Redwood suggested that a better way to help the elderly would be to promote currently available effective therapeutics protocols developed by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance that can be used for both prevention and treatment of COVID infections, not push vaccines.
‘Very little risk, with a small exception’
According to the AP, Steinar Madsen, medical director with the Norwegian Medicines Agency, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that health officials are “not alarmed” by the deaths in Norway nursing home residents, adding: “It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.”
Madsen’s sentiments echoed those of officials at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health which said earlier in the week that “any side effects of the vaccine will be outweighed by a reduced risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 for elderly, frail people.”
Pfizer and BioNTech are working with the Norwegian regulator to investigate the deaths in Norway. Pfizer told Bloomberg in an email that the Norwegian Medicines Agency found that “the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations.”
Norway Today quoted Sigurd Hortemo, the agency’s chief physician who said: “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.”
In addition to the deaths, the agency reported that 21 women and eight men experienced side effects, including nine who had serious side effects without a fatal consequence, and seven who experienced less serious side effects. The nine patients had allergic reactions, strong discomfort and severe fever while the less serious side effects included severe pain at the injection site.
Since the end of December, about 30,000 people have received the first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine in Norway, according to multiple news reports citing the agency’s official report.
Vaccine-related deaths in elderly easy to dismiss
In the U.S., the CDC, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and some state agencies are investigating adverse side effects, including severe allergic reactions. Some, but not all, are being reported through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
The CDC and the Florida medical examiner are also investigating the death of a 56-year old “perfectly healthy” doctor who died of a rare autoimmune disorder 15 days after getting the Pfizer vaccine.
As The Defender reported earlier this week, despite Pfizer’s statement that there’s no reason to believe the vaccine caused the Florida doctor’s death, a Johns Hopkins scientist said it was “a medical certainty” that it did.
But not all side effects, or even deaths, are being investigated. As Children’s Health Defense’s Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. wrote this week, there’s a growing pattern of dismissing deaths or medical conditions experienced by people within days or weeks of getting the vaccine as merely “coincidental.”
It’s especially easy to dismiss the link between vaccines and deaths in elderly populations, said Kennedy, who cited a news report from Syracuse.com suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines could be linked to a shocking number of additional deaths in the elderly in New York.
According to the news account, a single nursing home in upstate New York vaccinated 193 residents beginning on Dec. 22 and subsequently reported 24 deaths within the span of a couple of weeks.
Although the facility has attributed the deaths to a COVID-19 “outbreak,” there had been no COVID-19 deaths in any nursing homes in the entire county “until the first three deaths … were reported Dec. 29,” Syracuse.com reported.
Pointing out that 24 deaths among 193 vaccinated residents equates to a 12.4% mortality rate, one observer noted that this reflects a “124-fold increase in mortality over and above the COVID-19 death rate for the population at large.”
1/ @cdcgov has released its updated batch of reported Covid vaccine side effect data, through Jan. 8, when roughly 6.6 million doses had been administered. And it is… not good.
Reported deaths per dose are now running at 85x per dose of flu vaccine, and ER trips at 35x… pic.twitter.com/k76G9i6wGN
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) January 15, 2021
Don’t assume your side effect will be reported
Redwood said she’s concerned that many vaccine-related side effects and deaths will go unreported, often because people believe that their physicians or hospitals will file those reports.
“Healthcare workers are overwhelmed right now,” Redwood said. “We can’t assume they’ll report vaccine side effects.”
Redwood urged everyone who experiences any side effects, or suspects any vaccine-related death, to go to the VAERS website and file a report there.