The Norwegian Institute of Public Health advised the country’s government to avoid the use of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Covid vaccines, citing serious side effects such as blood clots that have taken the lives of multiple Norwegians.
“We do not recommend that the vaccines be used in the national vaccination program due to the serious side effects that have been seen,” NIPH investigation committee chair Lars Vorland said during a press conference on Monday.
“Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, to reopen society and get everyday life back,” the NIPH said in a statement. “It is therefore a difficult decision to recommend that one of the Covid vaccines not be used actively in the program.”
The NIPH added, “There is great uncertainty about the occurrence of the serious but rare side effects of using the Janssen vaccine. After vaccination with the similar AstraZeneca vaccine, Norway has registered a higher incidence of the serious side effects and deaths after the first dose compared with other countries, without us yet knowing why. “
“We only know about the occurrence of the serious side effects after using the Janssen vaccine as they are referred to from the USA,” the report stated. “If we use the prevalence reported among women under the age of 50 (0.7 per 100,000 vaccinated), it will be more risky for women aged 18 to 50 in Norway to be vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine than to wait to be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. “
The Norwegian government has not released an an official decision on whether it will discontinue use of the two vaccines.
Multiple cases of severe blood clotting and other side effects have occurred in Norway according to the committee, resulting in at least five deaths.
In the U.S., multiple side effects have been reported after use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including paralysis in one Tennessee mother.