Report: "23 die in Norway after receiving Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine" (NY Post)

Oystein

Senior Member
I am sure other news outlets carry this story as well, as it is based on "officially" reported "fact" - and sounds alarming:
https://nypost.com/2021/01/15/23-die-in-norway-after-receiving-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine/

23 die in Norway after receiving Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: officials​

By Amanda Woods
January 15, 2021 | 12:12pm
Here the full text:
Twenty-three people died in Norway within days of receiving their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with 13 of those deaths — all nursing home patients — apparently related to the side effects of the shots, health officials said.

Common reactions to the vaccine, including fever and nausea, “may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients,” Sigurd Hortemo, chief physician at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said in a Friday statement.

All 13 were nursing home patients and at least 80 years old. While officials aren’t expressing serious concern, they are adjusting their guidance on who should receive the vaccine.

The news comes just over a week after officials reported the deaths of just two nursing home residents after they received the Pfizer jab.

More than 30,000 people in Norway have received the first shot of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine in the Scandinavian country since late last month, according to official figures.

“We are not alarmed by this,” Steinar Madsen, medical director with the agency, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.”

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

The agency reported Thursday that a total of 29 people had suffered side effects, including the 13 people who died.

Twenty-one women and eight men experienced side effects, officials said.

Besides those who died, nine had serious side effects — including allergic reactions, strong discomfort and severe fever — while seven had less serious ones, including severe pain at the injection site.

In total, more than 57,000 cases and 500 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Norway, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Health officials noted that around 400 people die each week in the nursing home population.

A Pfizer rep said the pharmaceutical giant is “aware of reported deaths” following the administration of the vaccine in Norway and is working with the Norwegian Medicines Agency “to gather all the relevant information.”

“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,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “[The Norwegian Medicine Agency confirms] the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations.”

Officials said common side effects of the vaccine, including fever and nausea, may have contributed to the deaths.AFP via Getty Images
“All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by [the agency] to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine,” she added. “The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.”
Here is an original report by Norwegian authorities:
https://legemiddelverket.no/english...pected-adverse-reactions-of-covid-19-vaccines (January 15)

Reported suspected adverse reactions of covid-19 vaccines​

The Norwegian Medicines Agency is transparent about reports of suspected adverse reactions during covid-19 vaccination and publishes weekly updates. These updates provide an overview of reported suspected adverse events after vaccination in Norway.
All reports of suspected adverse drug reactions, regardless of whether they are reported by healthcare professionals or patients or received from vaccine manufacturers, end up in the Norwegian ADR Registry.
The weekly updates summarize all suspected adverse reactions that have been assessed and processed.
The adverse reaction reports are assessed on a continuous basis. Reports of suspected serious adverse reactions are prioritized for assessment. The weekly updates will therefore give a skewed picture of the distribution between serious and nonserious reports.
The adverse reaction statistics for the different covid-19 vaccines are not directly comparable because they have not been used in the covid vaccination program for the same length of time, and because the vaccines are administered to different numbers of people and to different age groups.
Adverse reactions are reported on suspicion and the reports describe events that have occurred after vaccination. Even though an event has been reported, this does not necessarily imply that a causal relationship has been established between the event and the vaccines.. The known adverse reactions of the vaccines are listed in the product information.
This in turn links to a January 14th transparency report about Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) related to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Norway:
https://legemiddelverket.no/Documen...s covid-19 vaccines as of January 14 2021.pdf
Weekly report on suspected adverse drug reactions to coronavirus vaccines Background for the reported cases:
In Norway, the vaccination campaign (handled by the National Institute of Public Health) have prioritized the elderly in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. So far, this is the only group of patients for whom vaccination has taken place (until 15/01/2021 only with Comirnaty. Vaccination with Moderna starts /15/01/2021).
Patients in nursing homes represents a very frail group of elderly, and most of the patients have severe underlying diseases.
In Norway we have a “reporting culture” for vaccines ADRs where the normal procedure is to report all suspected adverse reactions for new vaccines. Healthcare professionals have a low threshold for reporting possible adverse reactions, even when the causal relationships appears very unclear.
The preferred and most used route of reporting is directly to the health authorities, not via the Marketing Authorisation Holders.
The Norwegian ADR registry is a national health registry, obliged to report statistics to the public.
At the highest political level the public has been promised full transparency of the reported ADRs of the covid-19 vaccines. The Norwegian Medicines Agency will publish weekly reports.
The Norwegian Medicines agency, in close cooperation with the National Institute for Public Health will continuously follow the reporting of suspected ADRs and update national advice accordingly. About the statistics:  The Norwegian Medicines Agency is transparent about reports of suspected adverse reactions during covid-19 vaccination and publishes weekly updates. These updates provide an overview of reported suspected adverse reactions after vaccination in Norway. All reports of suspected adverse drug reactions, regardless of whether they are reported by healthcare professionals or patients or received from vaccine manufacturers, end up in the Norwegian ADR Registry. The weekly updates summarize all suspected adverse reactions that have been assessed and processed. The adverse reaction reports are assessed on a continuous basis. Reports of suspected serious adverse reactions are prioritized for assessment. The weekly updates will therefore give a skewed picture of the distribution between serious and nonserious reports. The adverse reaction statistics for the different covid-19 vaccines are not directly comparable because they have not been used in the covid vaccination program for the same length of time, and because the vaccines are administered to different numbers of people and to different age groups. Adverse reactions are reported on suspicion and the reports describe events that have occurred after vaccination. Even though an event has been reported, this does not necessarily imply that a causal relationship has been established between the event and the vaccines. The known adverse reactions of the vaccines are listed in the product information.
What follows is a breakdown by gender, age groups, severity and symptoms, which are not of prime interest here, I think.

Here is my quick take:
This page here says that Norway has 39,466 beds in nursing homes: https://www.ssb.no/en/pleie/
According to the NY Post article, 400 of that population die per week in ordinary times
Therefore, IF every nursing home resident got vaccinated without discrimination, we would expect 400 of them to die within a week of getting the shot.
Since most elderly people who die have "symptoms" during the week before they die, we would observe symptoms in most of the 400 that are expected to die.
Since Norway, like most other countries, prioritizes nursing homes in her vaccination campaign, we may assume that a large proportion of the 30,000 administered so far went to nursing home residents. Perhaps 20,000, certainly more than 10,000 - my guess.
So a number of 100-200 deaths in temporal proximity to the vax shot would be unsurprising.
Caveat: People already in the process of dying would not get vaccinated. It is difficult to estimate how many of the 400 that die per week would be so ill that they would be considered "final" and be exempt from the vaccination campaign.

Authorities look into each individual case among the 23 deaths reported.

I think we can expect a fair proportion of those to be rule unrelated, and another fair proportion to be related, and some to remain undetermined.
 

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deirdre

Senior Member.
Article:
"All the deaths have occurred in frail, elderly patients in nursing homes. All are over 80 years old and some of them over 90," Norwegian media NRK reported.
......
around 400 deaths normally occur among care home residents every week, reports the BMJ.



Article:
“All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by [the agency] to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine,” she added. “The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.”
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
@deirdre you tagged my post as "disagree", but I don't know what you disagree with?
i disagree with you only posting a click bait headline and not adding any of the qualifying information from the article.

but i see now you changed that.

although now its even worse. you dont highlight the important bits the average reader needs to see. and now my post which does just that is hidden beneath a wall of stuff the average reader wont read. but whatever.. i dont care if you scare people into not getting the vaccine because tehy dont know the important bits.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
i disagree with you only posting a click bait headline and not adding any of the qualifying information from the article.

but i see now you changed that.

although now its even worse. you dont highlight the important bits the average reader needs to see. and now my post which does just that is hidden beneath a wall of stuff the average reader wont read. but whatever.. i dont care if you scare people into not getting the vaccine because tehy dont know the important bits.
Ah ok, sorry, I had accidentally submitted the post long before I had finished it. Was short on time earlier, and wanted to get this off before running off and losing track.

Thanks for adding the highlights
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
covid norway.png

If the vaccination stops older people from dying from Covid, then 13 vaccination-related deaths is sad, but still an improvement.
Obviously it's a lot better to not kill people with the vaccine!

But that's also difficult to predict. We don't have exact numbers; if we have 13 deaths in 10,000 elderly, then you would have had to test the vaccine in about 2000 people of ages 80 and up in the trial phase to notice the danger; that would already be a significant proportion of the population, and you couldn't do such a test before testing on a smaller number first; and the delay incurs further deaths from Covid. So at some point, it's statistically better to take the chance that the vaccine kills people because it'll kill less than Covid would if you waited with the vaccination.

Side effect reporting laws exist to learn about undiscovered side effects during the deployment phase and to build knowledge about counterindications, i.e. to learn whom best not treat. That happens with all types of medications as a matter of course.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
we may assume that a large proportion of the 30,000 administered so far went to nursing home residents. Perhaps 20,000, certainly more than 10,000 - my guess.

Article:
In Norway, the first people to get it will be residents of care homes and those “oldest” living at home, followed by people aged 65 or more plus younger adults with pre-existing conditions.


I am sure other news outlets carry this story as well

looking into this is interesting of itself. The Chinese government sounded the alarm
Article:
Meanwhile, toxic substances may be developed throughout the process of mRNA vaccinations; thus, the safety of vaccines cannot be fully ensured, Yang said.

But that's not the case for inactivated vaccines in China, which have more mature technology, Yang said.


Then the NYPost who endorsed Trump wrote their click bait headline. A few minor publications (ex livemint dot com) carried the story but all used qualifying wording in their headlines.

We know from previous studies that most social media users only read headlines. Now im not accusing the NYPost of trying to screw Cuomo or make life difficult for Biden as this headline [likely] erupts amongst antivaxxers, and on Facebook...

but it is interesting.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
new numbers in, so sounds like approx 6 possibly related deaths out of 12,000 new vaccinations. i'm not sure how to do the math on that.. 1 out of every 2,000 (.002 ?) with serious underlying conditions over the age of 75. and of course we still have the 400 a week statistic that normally die.

note: norway has not assessed all 29. they have only assessed still 13.

Article:
Norway expressed increasing concern about the safety of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine on elderly people with serious underlying health conditions after raising an estimate of the number who died after receiving inoculations to 29.

The latest figure adds six to the number of known fatalities in Norway, and lowers the age group thought to be affected to 75 from 80. While it’s unclear exactly when the deaths occurred, Norway has given at least one dose to about 42,000 people and focused on those considered most at risk if they contract the virus, including the elderly.

....
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health judges 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.”
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
new numbers in, so sounds like approx 6 possibly related deaths out of 12,000 new vaccinations. i'm not sure how to do the math on that.. 1 out of every 2,000 (.002 ?) with serious underlying conditions over the age of 75.
6/12000 = 1/2000 = 0.0005 = 0.05% , that is approximately ten times less than the number of people who'd be expected to die of a novel coronavirus infection in the general population. If these 12,000 new vaccinations were predominantly older people, it could be up to 100 times less.

For comparison, 23/30000 = 0.08% and 13/30000 = 0.04%; the estimated total infection fatality rate for Covid-19 is between 0.5% and 1%, and around 5% for 75-year-olds.
 

Gundersen

Senior Member.
Same type of stories surfaced in Denmark, most medias was very aware of not blowing the story out of proportions, while others used the story for clickbait, unfortunately. As in Norway, Denmark started with the elderly population living in nursing homes. Therefor, many were old and weak from the start. 60.000 was vaccinated when the story broke, 2 died. Link below, unfortunately both in Danish and partly hidden behind a pay wall.

https://politiken.dk/forbrugogliv/sundhedogmotion/art8067421/Eksperter-afviser-vaccinen-som-årsag

On the 5th of January, the Danish Medicines Agency (Lægemiddelstyrelsen) informed that two out of more than 60.000 vaccinated died shortly after the vaccination, but the constituted department head of pharmacovigilance Tanja Erichsen, said that "it is less likely that the two deaths has a causality with the vaccine".

One was a citizen with severe lung disease, which was effected by mental illness, was resisting treatment and died after a worsening in the lung condition. The other was very old and already weakened.*
* Above is my own translation

I first saw above story shared on Facebook from a news outlet which is known for making a living by click-bait. Above information regarding the two deaths were mentioned, but not until last or second to last paragraph. Headline was simply; "Two people died after being vaccinated"** Above story from Politiken, a serious news media, has the following title; "Few Danes died shortly after vaccination: Experts rules out vaccination as cause". The above translated part of the article is in the very beginning, even being mentioned in the text visible for non-subscribers.

** or similar, can't find the article, fortunately it is very low in any google searches
 
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