FHI evaluated the AstraZeneca vaccine for a month and concluded that it should not be used. Now a whole new group will look at it again.
This was stated by Minister of Health Bint Hui (h) today, Thursday. So the government did not follow Recommendation from FHI – The break continued.
The expert group is tasked with evaluating the consequences of using or not using the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is comprised of experts from Norway and beyond – but none from FHI.
Camila Stoltenberg, director of the National Institute of Health, says the National Institute of Mental Health (NIPH) has been informed that the government will appoint the group of experts after they make their recommendation on Monday. When asked if FHI was not required to participate in or contribute to the expert group, she answered no.
Then I realized that they wanted a broader evaluation, and that they were primarily criticizing the fact that it appears that we will not under any circumstances open up to use the AstraZeneca vaccine again.
– But do you think you do?
I think we did, but they read us differently there, says Stoltenberg.
It’s just that we haven’t looked at it as realistic given what we think will happen in the future – whether when we look at the epidemiological situation, the availability of vaccines, and what we know about the side effects.
Do you think that the expert committee is a new evaluation of their evaluation?
Both yes and no. They will have more time to gain new knowledge about the same thing as we looked. But without knowing the mandate given to them, it seems as though they will also be tasked with looking at other aspects of the issue more than we did, and possibly conducting their more comprehensive socio-economic analyzes and looking more at the international aspects of this assessment.
According to the plan, Norway will vaccinate people in their 50s in early May, when the government’s team of experts will finish their assessment. FHI Means AstraZeneca vaccine would primarily be suitable for those over 65 if used now – But this is the case A greater risk of side effects from Covid-19 vaccine.
– do you want more
Health Minister Bint Hui told VG on Thursday that the government will reduce the committee because they considered that the outcome of decision-making would be great.
We see that there is a lot of new knowledge in the region. We wanted an editorial that you provide to get that knowledge and evaluation from another professional group.
– What was also part of the government’s assessment, is that deciding on AstraZeneca can now give very powerful guidance for a future conclusion about Johnson & Johnson. This commission’s mandate revolves around virus vector vaccines – and thus both vaccines.
Why didn’t you drop the expert panel right away?
– That was because we first wanted to evaluate the FHI – and it showed us that this was pretty complicated.
– So that wasn’t enough?
– We want more.
He says they will see, among other things, more international data, and the health consequences of taking more stringent measures for a longer period of time.
– I do not think so
One of the reasons the government sought a new assessment from the panel of experts was that it was concerned that the decision on AstraZeneca would lay the basis for a future conclusion about Johnson & Johnson.
But FHI sees this as two separate decisions, says FHI Director Camilla Stoltenberg.
– No, we didn’t think so. There will be independent evaluations. What might affect the Johnson & Johnson vaccine evaluation is not what one decides about the AstraZeneca vaccine, but whether the serious side effects associated with the two vaccines are the same.
NIPH is the leading professional authority for determining which vaccines should be in the vaccination program.
Does Family Health International interpret this as a lack of confidence?
– no we did not. The government will also make difficult decisions about this and have a broader basis for decision-making. They have been and are still very complex NIH assessments, and we also say that assessments may change with new knowledge or if a country finds itself in a new situation.
– FHI made its reviews
When asked if the FHI had influence over the decision to establish a panel of experts, Stoltenberg replied that they had not. So does FHI’s infection control manager, Geir Bokholm, who led FHI’s vaccine testing work over the past month.
A: It is an assessment and a decision that the government made completely independent of us, he says.
With regard to the World Health Organization being not part of the group of experts, Minister of State Saliba Kornak at the Ministry of Health replied:
Family Health International conducted its assessments and made recommendations. NIPH assessments will be an important part of the basis of the decision when the government comes to its conclusion. The committee will conduct independent evaluations, but will of course also rely on FHI’s expertise and assessments already submitted.
Have you thought about whether it could be considered a lack of confidence in the FHI assessment?
– No. The work of FHI and that of the Committee of Experts will form the basis of the government’s final decision. The committee will consider other views on the consequences of using or not using AstraZeneca and other vector vaccines than those made by Family Health International.