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Norway vaccine tragedy: Death toll reaches 29

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Oslo, Jan 17: The number of people above age 75 with serious underlying health conditions who died after taking vaccines for Covid-19 in Norway went up to 29 on Saturday.

The Scandinavian country, which has inoculated more than 25,000 people since the vaccination drive began on December 27 last year, has confirmed the deaths.

 Norway vaccine tragedy: Death toll reaches 29

Earlier, the age group thought to be in the danger zone was above 80, but the fresh six deaths on Saturday further lowered it to 75 and also raised questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programme.

The vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech was the only one available in Norway until Friday, and "all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine," the Norwegian Medicines Agency said.

The NMA wrote to news agency Bloomberg and confirmed that while most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, 13 deaths have been assessed and another 16 are being looked at for having been caused due to it. "There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed," the agency said, adding that all the reported deaths related to "elderly people with serious basic disorders".

The side effects being seen in most people are nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.

Pfizer has said it is investigating the deaths along with BioNTech and the NIPH and the agency has found that "the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations."

Norway, however, has not said that younger, healthier people should avoid being vaccinated.

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