It was in August last year that 42-year-old Karl-Erik Hordnes from Arna outside Bergen took his second dose of corona vaccine.
– It was strongly recommended to take a second dose, so I had no qualms about doing that. I am not a vaccine skeptic, says the father of the family.
Both doses were of the Pfizer type.
Three weeks later he fell ill with flu symptoms.
– I was laid up straight for three days and thought it was the flu. The only problem was that the symptoms never went away, says Hordnes.
After seeking medical attention, he has been hospitalized for various tests. He has been examined by a heart specialist. The lungs and head have been scanned and a large amount of blood samples have been taken. Without the doctors finding anything wrong.
TV 2 has gained access to his patient record where it is written in black and white that: “No other explanation has been found than a probable vaccine reaction”.
– It can be described as extreme exhaustion. I have a heaviness in my body, with numbness in both my arms, legs and face, says Karl-Erik Hordnes.
Reached the maximum limit for sick leave
The ailments have given him great challenges both at work and at home.
– I struggle with concentration and brain fog. This means that e-mails with a lot of information, for example, often have to be postponed, says Hordnes.
He says that he has been on sick leave since the side effects started, but has managed to work up to 40 per cent.
– Now I have passed the maximum date for sick leave and have started receiving work verification allowance. There is a new challenge in the process, but I still work 40 per cent, says Karl-Erik Hordnes.
At home, most of the work now falls on the wife.
– There is not much I can contribute. Everything from following up on the boys, leisure activities and housework is affected, says the 42-year-old.
He stands up to be a face for people who are struggling with the after-effects of the corona vaccine.
– There has been some focus on women who struggle with menstrual disorders after the vaccines. Otherwise, I have only heard of the athletics runner Filip Ingebrigtsen, who had a season ruined by the vaccine, says Hordnes.
– I can’t take many more years like this
The 42-year-old believes the health authorities must do more to help people in his situation.
– When planning large-scale vaccination, you must also have a system that catches those who become vaccine-injured and provide them with treatment, he says.
Hordnes also believes that those affected by long covid are prioritized in a completely different way in the healthcare system.
– There is now an established treatment. As far as my GP and I know, there are no treatment options for those who have injuries from the vaccine, says the 42-year-old.
No signs of improvement
14 months after he became ill, there are no signs of improvement.
– I have always thought that it would disappear in the next week or next month. The uncertainty of not knowing how long this will last, and that I won’t get any help, is heavy, says Karl-Erik Hordnes.
It is the Norwegian Medicines Agency that has an overview of suspected side effects after vaccination in Norway.
– It makes an impression to hear this story, says senior physician Sigurd Hortemo at the Norwegian Medicines Agency.
From the start of the corona vaccination in December 2020 until 20 September this year, 6,884 reports of incidents classified as serious have been processed.
26 cases of prolonged fatigue
In the same period, almost 12 million doses of vaccine have been administered.
– So far, no causal link has been established between vaccination with covid-19 and long-term exhaustion, says Hortemo.
He nevertheless says that the Norwegian Medicines Agency has received 26 reports of side effects concerning long-term fatigue (fatigue for more than three months).
– We are therefore investigating this further to see if there is an increased risk of such ailments after vaccination against covid-19, says the superintendent.
In order to investigate whether the vaccines against covid-19 increase the risk of long-term ailments, the Institute of Public Health conducts large-scale population surveys in which the participants regularly answer questions about, among other things, fatigue, menstrual disorders, long-term headaches and other persistent symptoms after vaccination.
– We encourage those who experience prolonged fatigue after vaccination to contact the GP who can assess the causes, and possibly report it as a suspected side effect, says senior doctor Sigrud Hortemo.