The Minister of Health announced the opening of investigations after questions about the first deaths recorded after the injection in France of doses of vaccines.
Five people have died in France after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus Covid-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday 19th January 2021.
Among the victims, three deaths were recorded by the regional pharmaco-vigilance centre of Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle), revealed Franceinfo.
The ducal city is the first to have launched the vaccination of people over 75 years old outside nursing homes a week ago.
“Elderly or very old people with co-morbidities”
But the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, wants to be vigilant and has not yet confirmed a direct link between these deaths and the injection of the first dose of vaccine. Contacted, the pharmaco-vigilance centre of Nancy claims to have studied.
These are “elderly or very old with comorbidities”, who had received an injection of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, without a link being established at this stage between their death and a reaction to the vaccine, says AFP.
“There is no reason to conclude that the reported deaths are linked to vaccination”
Since the start of the vaccination, “139 cases of adverse effects have been reported with the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, including around twenty serious adverse effects which will be discussed in the framework of the follow-up committee on January 21,” a indicated the National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM). “Among these declarations, 5 cases of death were reported. They were elderly people residing in EHPAD or in old age residences who all presented chronic diseases and heavy treatments”, confirmed the agency. “In view of the information available to us to date, there is nothing to conclude that the deaths reported are linked to vaccination”, also assures the ANSM.
Open investigations, according to Olivier Véran
Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, travelling to Nancy on Tuesday, announced the opening of investigations to determine the links between deaths and injections of doses of vaccine.
— Lorraine-Actu (@LorraineActu) January 19, 2021
“Be careful, this is not” aftermath “, he reacted on the sidelines of a visit to a vaccination center for people over 75 years old. “We are addressing people in nursing homes who by definition are very fragile, often with illnesses. There are obviously studies being done to say whether or not there is a link with the vaccine ”.
We are addressing, in nursing homes, people who by definition are very fragile, with a loss of autonomy often with many diseases, drugs and whose causes of death may be completely independent (from Covid-19). (These people) may have died in the days following vaccination, without showing signs of allergic reactions after vaccination. There are obviously, as part of pharmacovigilance monitoring, studies that are carried out by health authorities, in conjunction with doctors, to determine whether or not there is a link with vaccination or if it is in quotes just an unfortunate time match.
The minister also said that it was necessary to remain cautious concerning an allergic reaction “or not” of the deceased persons. “Of course”, investigations are underway “systematically as soon as there is an alert”, also said Olivier Véran during his trip to Lorraine.
As a reminder, the tests carried out on these Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines before their administration to the population had shown the deaths of two patients out of the 20,000 who received the vaccine in the two months following the injection.
But already, at the time of these phase 3 tests, their death could not be directly linked to the injection of the vaccine.