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European Medicines Agency confirms no deaths have been linked to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

It followed reports in recent weeks that people had died after receiving the vaccine.

Image: AP/PA Images

THE EU’S MEDICINES regulator has confirmed that no deaths have been linked to Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine among people who received it.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) provided the update today based on the first data from the vaccine’s rollout across the continent.

It followed reports in recent weeks that dozens of people had died in Norway after receiving a first shot of Comirnaty, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The EMA looked at the deaths and concluded that data “did not show a link to vaccination” and that the cases did “not raise a safety concern”.

The watchdog said that data about the vaccine is consistent with the known safety profile of the vaccine, and that “no new side effects were identified”.

It added that reports of occasional severe allergic reactions did not go beyond what had already been discovered.

“The benefits of Comirnaty  in preventing Covid-19 continue to outweigh any risks, and there are no recommended changes regarding the use of the vaccine,” the EMA said.

Norway had registered 33 deaths among some 20,000 retirement home residents who had received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The country had said that it had not established a link between the deaths and vaccination, but recommended that doctors consider the overall health of the most frail before giving them the jab.

The EMA noted that clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine had included people aged 75 and older. The watchdog also said it had asked the company to keep “reviewing all reports of suspected side effects with fatal outcome thoroughly”.

Last week, figures from the Health Products Regulatory Authority’s (HPRA) about possible effects of Covid-19 vaccines showed that just 257 people out of almost 122,000 to receive the jab in Ireland had reported suspected side-effects.

The overwhelming majority of suspected side-effects were minor in nature, and all suspected side-effects reported to the health products watchdog were consistent with clinical trials. No deaths have been linked to Covid-19 vaccines in Ireland.

Contains reporting by © AFP 2021

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