Disinformation: Four Hundred People Died in Norway from Administering the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
Verdict: Fake News
The Geomediapress.ge website promoted disinformation in regard to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine under the following headline: “Pfizer’s Vaccine Has Been Halted.” According to the website, the reason behind that decision was vaccination in Norway which resulted in the death of 400 people. On top of the claim that the vaccination caused the death of 400 people, the article also says: “Specialists are unable to comment upon what caused the sudden death of the people.” The article contains several fake news item.
Pfizer’s Vaccine Has Been Halted
Pfizer’s vaccine has been halted. The reason behind that decision is vaccination in Norway which resulted in the death of 400 people. Specialists are currently unable to comment upon what caused the sudden death of the people.
According to the Pfizer-BioNTech’s official website, the company has not stopped vaccination in any country, including Norway (contrary to the article’s claim).
The information that vaccination resulted in the death of 400 people in Norway is also false. In fact, as of today 33 people died among elderly people living in Norway’s assisted care facilities after being administered with the first shots of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines. As of 14 January 2021, there were 23 officially reported post-vaccine deaths in Norway. As of 18 January 2021, the Norway Institute of Public Health had already studied and made public the autopsy results of 13 deaths out of the total of 23. According to these results, no links were identified between the vaccine and the deaths. The Geomediapress.ge article was published on 19 January 2021 after the Norway Institute of Public Health declared that no evidence had been found on links between the vaccine and the deaths.
As stated by the Norwegian Medicines Agency officials, there is no evidence of a direct association between the latest deaths among the elderly people and the COVID-19 vaccines. As of today, the Norwegian Medicines Agency stated that the autopsy results of the 13 individuals show no links between vaccination and the cases of the deaths. Steinar Madsen, Medical Director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, stated: “All of these patients had serious underlying illnesses. We cannot say that the peopled die from the vaccine. We can say that it may be coincidental.”
The Norwegian Medicines Agency also indicated that among elderly people with a special medical history (heart problems, dementia, chronic lung ailments and other serious diseases), the side effects of the mRNA vaccine, such as vomiting and fear, may have contributed (although not caused) to adverse reactions.
Of note is that based on a decision made by the Norway Public Health Institute and the country’s authorities, elderly people living in nursing homes are the first beneficiaries of the vaccination campaign. Therefore, a large part of the population currently being vaccinated comprises people under a heightened coronavirus risk and suffering from different chronic diseases.
The 400 elderly people mentioned by the Geomediapress.ge website in fact constitute an approximate number of older citizens dying every week in Norway’s elderly care facilities and not the number of elderly people who died from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shot.
As stated by the Norwegian Medicines Agency, the cases of death which will coincide with the post-vaccination period are inevitable in terms of elderly individuals.
Finally, Geomediapress.ge aims to discredit the vaccine and cultivate public distrust and a negative attitude by promoting false information about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
As of January 2021’s data, three COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by highly trusted regulatory bodies across Europe and the USA. The vaccines are: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Astrazeneca. Of these vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech was the first one which was authorized for mass vaccination at the beginning of December 2020.
Disinformation about vaccine-related deaths reported in Norway’s elderly care facilities has also been promoted in the past (see FactCheck’s article).
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