The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said on January 22 that it sees no evidence that Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine has contributed to the deaths of the elderly people that occurred in Norway. It said in a statement the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety said that the reports of deaths “are in line with the expected, all-cause mortality rates and causes of death in the sub-population of frail, elderly individuals, and the available information does not confirm a contributory role for the vaccine in the reported fatal events.” It added that the risk-benefit balance of the COVID-19 vaccine “remains favourable in the elderly”.
The WHO panel had met earlier this week to review the reports that some of the terminally-ill people had died after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Initially, the deaths being reported from Norway had raised an alarm among the authorities. Just last week, it was reported that several elderly people died just shortly after receiving the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in Norway. However, the health authorities in Norway had also said that "no direct link" was established between Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine and post-vaccination deaths in the country.
WHO further said, “Countries should continue to monitor the safety of vaccines, and promote routine after-care following immunization, consistent with good immunization practices for any vaccine. The committee recommends that data on suspected adverse events should be collected and reviewed continuously - nationally, regionally, and globally - as the COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out, world-wide.”
Meanwhile, the Australian government has reportedly demanded detailed information from Pfizer-BioNTech and the Norwegian medical regulator after 30 vaccine recipients died in Norway. As per reports, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt called on both the Norwegian regulator and the vaccine manufacturers demanding detailed information regarding the incident. This comes after reports emerged on Norway's medicine regulator NOMA stating that the deaths of 29 people may have occurred due to Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine.