Norwegian officials have adjusted their advice on who gets the COVID-19 vaccine leaving the decision up to doctors.
Soon after the news surfaced, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health issued a clarification. It said that severely frail patients or patients with a short remaining life expectancy must be assessed individually by healthcare professionals daily. The institute further said 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.” It added that “for very frail patients and terminally ill patients, a careful balance of benefit versus disadvantage of vaccination is recommended.”
According to Steinar Madsen, medical director with the agency, “Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated. Those who are very frail and at the very end of life can be vaccinated after an individual assessment.” Medsen further said, “We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have minimal risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients.”
Many healthcare experts and scientists expect some deaths and other severe side effects as many countries worldwide are rolling out mass vaccinations. But determining whether or not the vaccine caused deaths is significant before anyone jumps to conclusions and requires that all other potential causes be ruled out first.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.