When the COVID-19 vaccine was first announced to be approved and available for Singaporeans last month, we all breathed a sigh of relief.
For a while.
Many immediately started to do some research, being worried about the potential side-effects of the vaccine.
While officials and professionals were upfront about potential side-effects and its low probability, many remained sceptical.
33 in Norway Dead After Receiving Vaccine
This was perhaps made worse when 33 elderly died after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Norway.
Many anti-vax folks probably hopped onto this piece of news to spread fear and dissuade others from receiving the vaccine.
Of course, some newspapers didn’t make things any better, stating that the vaccines may be too risky for the elderly and terminally ill.
But now, Norwegian medical professionals have stepped up to clear up the confusion and potential misinformation.
Patients Who Died Already Had Serious Underlying Conditions
Dr Steinar Madsen, the medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, reported that all of the patients who had passed after receiving the vaccine already had serious underlying conditions.
“We can’t say that people die from the vaccine”, he said, while it is possible that it is either coincidental, or that the vaccine could “tip the patients into a more serious course of the underlying disease.”
However, Norway is changing its policy to consider excluding terminally ill patients.
More importantly, Dr Madsen stated that COVID-19 is far more dangerous to any patient than the vaccine could be.
Local Vaccination Progress
Meanwhile, in Singapore, vaccines are still being received by our high-risk personnel, including frontline healthcare workers. In end-January, those most vulnerable to COVID-19 such as the elderly will begin receiving their vaccines.
The general population would probably have to wait at least a couple of months, but it can also be a good thing for us to have to wait.
This way, it gives us time to process and filter out the misinformation spreading around.
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