Image credits: Marco Verch
News Article

What is Happening With Pfizer’s Vaccine?

By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Mon, 01/18/2021 - 16:57

Two days ago, Norway reported 29 deaths among people over 75 years of age who received the first dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, reports Bloomberg. This has raised concerns regarding the safety of the vaccine on elderly people although Norway health authorities said there is no evidence linking the recent deaths to the COVID-19 vaccine. "Clearly, COVID-19 is far more dangerous to most patients than vaccination," Steinar Madsen, Medical Director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said by phone to The Brisbane Times. The reasons behind these deaths are unclear but they have reignited questions about the vaccine’s side effects, which include pain, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain and fever, among others, informs Líder Empresarial.

Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they were decreasing the amount of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to other countries outside of the US. “As part of the normal productivity improvements to increase capacity, we must make modifications to the process and facility that will require additional regulatory approvals,” a Pfizer spokeswoman said in a statement, reported Bloomberg. The decrease in deliveries is due to the renovation of a factory in Belgium, where Pfizer produces many of these vaccines. “Although this will temporarily impact shipments between late January and early February, it will provide a significant increase in doses available for patients in late February and March,” continued the spokeswoman.

The UN also asked Pfizer to reduce deliveries to the developed countries it has contracts with to support developing nations. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador accepted the reduction. “There is a controversy because the UN has asked Pfizer to lower its deliveries to the countries it has contracts with, as is the case of Mexico, to avoid [vaccine] hoarding. The goal is to put those vaccines in the hands of poorer countries,” said López Obrador. The President did mention that Mexicans should not worry about vaccine availability as it already signed contracts with other suppliers. “We are already in negotiations with CanSino, from China, for other vaccines. Also, there is a vaccine from a Russian laboratory [Sputnik V] and AstraZeneca’s vaccine, from the University of Oxford. So we are going to have enough vaccines,” he assured, according to Proceso.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Bloomberg, Brisbane Times, Proceso
Photo by:   Marco Verch, Flickr
Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst