The Norwegian Public Health Authority determined that the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was not associated with death in vaccinated elderly people.
In a report, they also recommended a pre-vaccination medical check-up for the elderly and very fragile.
Since the start of the vaccination campaign in late December, the Scandinavian country has reported 33 deaths among elderly people who received a first dose, according to the latest information from the authorities.
Among the 13 cases examined so far, “these are all people who were very old, frail and seriously ill,” said the director of the Norwegian health authority, Camilla Stoltenberg.
“There was no analysis of the cause of death,” she also said.
“The most important thing is to remember that in Norway 45 people die every day in medical facilities. So it has not been proven that there is excessive mortality or that it is vaccines.”
However, in the last few days Norway has been reiterating its recommendation for a medical examination before the vaccine is given to a very fragile or dying person, as is already the case in other countries.
“It is not impossible that some of those who are offered vaccination are so fragile … that it is not worth vaccinating because they may see their condition worsening due to the normal secondary effects,” said Stoltenberg on Monday.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency raised concerns late last week, claiming that the usual side effects of messenger RNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, “may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some fragile patients”.
Several countries have reported deaths after vaccination, but health officials believe it cannot be linked to the vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech told AFP on Monday that they would “work with the Norwegian Medicines Agency to collect all relevant information,” recalling that the Norwegian vaccination campaign began with older people living in medical facilities.
“Most of them are very old with illnesses and some are terminally ill,” Pfizer said.
According to the latest available record, more than 48,000 people out of 5.4 million inhabitants have been vaccinated in Norway.