In mid-January, an unresolved report from Norway suggested that all 23 weak, elderly patients had died after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
This discovery made headlines around the world.
Meanwhile, here in Canada, corona virus infections and deaths have occurred amid early vaccination efforts targeting residents in long-term care.
A house in Saskatoon, where most residents received their first vaccine Seven cases of COVID-19 have since been reported. A facility in Barry, Ont., Is in the grip of a facility outbreak that has caused dozens of deaths. Due to the fast spreading virus variant – Public health officials must fully vaccinate all residents as the outbreak progresses.
But in all these cases where seniors get sick or die after receiving at least one dose, bad sound titles do not tell the whole story, experts say.
“Just because someone died after receiving the COVID vaccine does not mean that the COVID vaccine caused their death,” said Dr. Noni McDonald, a researcher who focuses on vaccine safety and is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Dalhousie in Halifax.
In the event of an outbreak in long-term care homes, it is important to remember that while a single dose may provide some degree of protection, it may not be the full range as a result of the two-dose regulations for one of the currently approved vaccines in Canada. Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
This means that even if residents are partially vaccinated, it will not be enough to protect them if the virus spreads in the area where they live.
“High levels of COVID may have been in circulation at that time and they did not have adequate protection during the first few days of the first dose to provide immunity,” he said.
Canadian doctors are proving that the COVID-19 vaccine is the safest and safest for most elderly recipients – a population at high risk of dying from the disease.
“Once we vaccinate people, especially in these care systems, we are going to see the burden of the disease – and the resulting death burden – stop,” Sinha said.
No unexpected death toll, WHO decides
In Norway, The The deaths of those 23-year-old vaccine recipients More than 20,000 Pfizer-Bioentech levels are managed over several weeks – not all at once – and about 400 deaths occur weekly among care home residents in one country.
Following an estimate of the deaths, there were then more than 30 in total The World Health Organization concluded There were no “unexpected” increases in deaths of debilitated, elderly individuals or any unusual adverse events following vaccinations.
Watch | Dr. Samir Sinha on the safety of Govt-19 vaccines for seniors:
In fact, the team found that the vaccine did not play a “contributing role” in deaths.
This is a breakthrough as tens of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses are administered in countries around the world, including millions of seniors, with clear protection against serious infections. .
“We don’t see data showing that the vaccine accelerates anyone’s death,” Sinha said.
However, in an earlier investigation by the Norwegian Drugs Agency, the Norwegian National Medical Regulatory Authority, it was noted that common adverse reactions to MRNA-based vaccines such as fever, nausea and diarrhea may have contributed to some of the dangerous side effects in Norwegian patients. .
Canadian doctors may prove that the immune system’s responses to a vaccine are really bad, but only the very weakest of the elderly are approaching death based on their age and pre-existing health problems.
This can mean someone who is immobile, often bedridden, and in the final stages of dementia, explained Dr. Janet McLhane, a science director at the Northern Research Institute for Health Sciences and a professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Sutbury, Ond.
“We are not individuals who want to be vaccinated because they are unlikely to tolerate it.”
For someone who is severely weak and dehydrated, even a short bout of diarrhea can be dangerous to their health, he said.
Watch | Why there is a new urgency for vaccines in long-term care homes:
At the same time, it is a subtle balancing act because those vulnerable seniors may die more easily from COVID-19, said Tara Moriardi, associate professor at the University of Toronto and co-founder of COVID-19 Resource Canada.
“These decision makers will weigh in very carefully with the doctor or care provider,” he said.
But both McLahane and Moriarty insisted that those individuals were a small minority and one of the long-term care residents.
COVID-19 is dangerous for seniors
The vast majority of Canadian seniors, including those in long-term care or living in the community, maintain the safety benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine beyond any minimal risks.
Across Canada, nearly 20,000 people have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak, most of them over the age of 60 – 70 percent and over 70 percent.
That’s why long-term care residents are at the forefront of the queue as public health officials make vaccination efforts because their age and council living conditions are at high risk.
Health issues from COVID-19 are a concern for seniors
But since post-vaccination deaths are causing confusion among some seniors, Moriarty is now one of those involved, which may trigger vaccination reluctance among more benefit-seeking people.
“There are actually no deaths with these vaccines, whereas there are a lot of deaths among those diagnosed with COVID,” he said.
As McLahane points out, death is not the only concern with COVID-19. Even if an elderly person survives the disease, they run the risk of serious complications, life-changing impacts such as chronic health problems or reliance on intensive care.
“The most important reason to vaccinate the elderly is to prevent them from losing their independence and their abilities,” he said. “So, this is the quality of life end.”
According to McDonald’s, cautious Canadian seniors need to understand where the high risk is – from certainly getting sick with COVID-19, to not being vaccinated against it.
“If so, which door do you want to go through?” She said.
“How long can you have a door that has not received COVID, and has the potential to save your life? Or do you just want to go through the COVID door?”