Australia Wants Answers After Nearly 30 People Die Following Pfizer Vaccine In Norway
The Australian government is cautious about the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine after a spate of deaths in Norway.
Norwegian officials say 29 citizens died after getting the Covid-19 jab and their deaths are currently being investigated.
The vaccine was first given to Norway's elderly and those with serious health issues.
The medical regulator said fever and nausea were common reactions to the coronavirus vaccine and these conditions could have contributed to their death.
"Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition," a statement from the Norwegian Medicines Agency said.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said: "We're proceeding with an abundance of caution."
Mr Hunt has asked the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to look into the deaths to see whether the same thing could happen in Australia.
The TGA has highlighted that some of the people who died were already very old and some only had a few months to live.
The regulatory body will report back to Australian officials when they have examined each case.
"The TGA is evaluating all of the scientific and clinical information provided by the vaccine's sponsor, Pfizer, as well as other available evidence...prior to making a regulatory decision," the TGA said in a statement.
"We will continue to work with European regulators over the coming days to investigate this report and determine whether specific warnings about risks of vaccination in the very elderly or terminally ill should be potentially included in the product information for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine."
Australia has already ordered 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and it was expected to be approved for mass use later this month and could have been rolled out sometime in February.
Minister Hunt is hopeful they will have some answers soon.
"We have been in contact with the Foreign Minister, and Marise Payne will task DFAT to seek advice directly from the Norwegian government," he told reporters on Sunday (January 17).
"In addition, I've briefed both the Acting Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's Office today. So as further information is available, we'll share that with the Australian public."
In another blow to Australia's coronavirus rollout, experts called for the country's top jab choice to be halted.
There are fears the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab won't be effective enough in creating herd immunity and eliminating the virus from the community.
The Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI) is concerned a study showed after one injection the vaccine was only 62 per cent effective.
Health Minister Greg Hunt says 'we're proceeding with an abundance of caution' following the news.
Featured Image Credit: PA