Two more die in Norway after receiving AstraZeneca vaccine
Norwegian health authorities have received reports that two more people have died after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA) said in a statement on Sunday that it received reports from Oslo University Hospital (OUS) that two more people have died after receiving the vaccine, bringing the total to three.
Five patients with a combination of thrombosis, haemorrhaging and low platelet counts have been admitted to OUS after taking the vaccine.
“These are two tragic deaths among the group of patients who have been admitted with a unique combination of blood clots, haemorrhaging and low platelet counts. We have been notified that both of them died today," Steinar Madsen, medical director of NOMA told newspaper VG.
Madsen did not release details relating to the patients' identities but news agency NTB has reported that one of them is a health worker.
NOMA said that it could not rule out the cases being related to the vaccine.
“The Norwegian Medicines Agency cannot rule out that these cases may be related to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The European Medicine Agency’s Safety Committee (PRAC) has decided that such cases will now be mentioned in the summary of product characteristics and packaging,” it said in the statement.
"The unusual set of symptoms with blood clots, bleeding and low platelet count has not been observed after vacination with the other coronavirus vaccines that are used in Norway," the agency also wrote.
Last week a group of experts at OUS concluded that a strong immune response triggered by the AstraZeneca vaccine triggered blood clots in three health workers that received the vaccine.
Norway has temporarily suspended its use of the vaccine. A decision whether use of the vaccine will resume is expected later this week. The EMA last week concluded that AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and effective against Covid-19.
Madsen said that he doesn’t expect to see any more deaths related to the vaccine.
“It’s been a while since we put AstraZeneca on pause, so we hope that there will be no more deaths now,” he said.