The latest figure adds six to the number of known fatalities in Norway, and lowers the age group thought to be affected to 75 from 80.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency first reported on Thursday that 23 elderly people had died in a short time after receiving their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, 13 of which may have suffered from deadly side effects. "There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are now being assessed", the agency said, adding that all the reported deaths related to "elderly people with serious basic disorders".
Is this a serious concern?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are investigating these worries with Norwegian authorities.
"We are not alarmed by this".
"It's reported that the deaths occurred in very frail patients who may have had only weeks or months to live, and that further investigation into these deaths will take place", James said.
In a change of advice, officials will now leave it up to each doctor to consider who should be vaccinated and who shouldn't.
The vaccine may be too risky for the very old and terminally ill, officials observed.
Madsen, quoted in the AP report, said: "Doctors must now carefully consider who should be vaccinated".
The Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (ASI) is concerned a study showed after one injection the vaccine was only 62 per cent effective. But determining whether the vaccine caused deaths can be very challenging and requires that all other potential causes be ruled out first.
WA officials ‘confused, frustrated’ after feds reveal vaccine stockpile has been exhausted
Further exacerbating the confusion was a new program that would give more doses to states administering them the fastest. California counties are begging for more vaccine doses to reach millions of its senior citizens.
According to the agency, "all deaths" are linked to the Pfizer vaccine, which was the only one available in the country until Friday.
"This does not mean that there is a causal link between vaccination and death".
Officials listed fever, vomiting, and nausea as side effects which "may have led to the deaths of some frail patients", Sigurd Hortemo of the Norwegian Medicines Agency said, Bloomberg reported.
Norway isn't an outlier either.
Are rare side effects to be expected?
In the USA, where more than 11 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, health authorities are beginning to see rare instances of severe (though treatable) allergic reactions to some of the COVID-19 vaccines. Only three of these cases required hospitalisation, and two had been discharged already, the Ministry said.
Work is ongoing at the Pfizer plant in Belgium to increase capacity, and the firm and its German partner BioNTech said Saturday it would allow them to "significantly" scale up vaccine production in the second quarter. "NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations".
The adjustments come as Ontario reported 3,056 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, along with 51 new deaths related to the virus. But these only tell us about side effects in the people selected for the trials.
"We are aware that deaths have also been reported in other countries, but do not have full details of this yet", Norway's medicines agency said.