In Norway, there have been at least three cases of serious side effects from the Oxford-based AstraZeneca vaccine for which financial compensation has been awarded. Dozens of other people affected are waiting for a decision on reactions triggered by the Corona vaccinations.
The Norwegian Patient Injury Compensation System (NPE) will pay three plaintiffs suffering from serious side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccination, according to its statement on Friday. It officially confirmed that the vaccine, which is currently being phased out in the European country, has caused severe blood clots and low platelet counts in those affected, one of whom has died.
Among those who suffered severely from the vaccination – which was later removed from the national vaccination program because of its severe side effects – are healthcare workers who were given priority for vaccination. The two women affected had to be hospitalized in March. One of them, in her forties, passed away. Another plaintiff, an unnamed man in his thirties, is still suffering from a severe immune reaction.
“I came to the clinic in a lot of pain. It was terrifying to see reports of others dying from the same vaccination,” he told the NPE.
Its employees are now calculating the exact amount of compensation, said the agency’s director, saying the direct link between the vaccination and the deteriorating condition of the recipients has been proven and medically confirmed. The deceased’s family will also be paid for the funeral, he said.
A total of 77 claims for compensation for side effects of Covid vaccinations have been filed in Norway. Over 50 of these concern AstraZeneca, but there are also complaints about BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Eight of the 77 claims are linked to fatal vaccine injury.
At the same time, over 16 000 reports of suspected side effects of anti-Covid vaccinations had been recorded by the end of June, reported the Norwegian state broadcaster, citing the Norwegian Medicines Agency. While many sufferers complained of relatively mild symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue and dizziness, more serious medical consequences were also reported, including blood clots, bleeding, paralysis and serious allergic reactions such as anaphylactic shock.
Despite this development, German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn intends to push ahead with an aggressive vaccination campaign which could include AstraZeneca, even though the vaccination recommendation for AstraZeneca was dropped as in Norway.
According to the resolution of the Conference of Health Ministers ( GMK ), the federal government “intends” to “ensure that every vaccination series started with AstraZeneca will be completed with an mRNA vaccine”. This should be done “as soon as possible,” emphasized the federal and state governments in their resolution. There is still no information about the exact logistics plans for vaccination centers or contracted doctor’s practices.
The Standing Vaccination Commission ( STIKO ) surprisingly announced this week that people who have received the first dose of the Corona vaccine from AstraZeneca will in future receive an mRNA vaccine like the one from Biontech or Moderna as a second jab, regardless of age.
Spahn, but also other ministers, were visibly taken aback by STIKO’s announcement. The Bavarian Health Minister and this year’s GMK chairman Klaus Holetschek (CSU) said: “We have also told STIKO to understand that short-term communication on the topic of vaccination against the Coronavirus, which is so important in our population, can cause irritation.”
In the coming week alone, Spahn estimates that 500 000 to 700 000 people will be affected who are actually due for a second vaccination with AstraZeneca. He called for understanding among the approximately 2,5 million people who have already received two vaccinations from AstraZeneca. “This vaccination is also very good and it protects.”
Spahn even lauded cross-vaccination with the vaccine from AstraZeneca for the first and the vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer or Moderna for the second jab. In addition, the new recommendation includes an interval between the second and the first vaccination of just four weeks. So people no longer have to wait up to twelve weeks, as was previously recommended at AstraZeneca.
“This combination is one of the best available vaccine combinations that are currently available,” Spahn claimed.
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