On Wednesday, Sweden and Denmark announced a pause on Moderna’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine rollout for younger age groups, following reports of potential cardiovascular side effects.
Both nations now recommended the Comirnaty vaccine, from Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), instead. Norway already recommends Comirnaty for young people, and a Finnish health official said Finland is expecting to publish a decision on Thursday.
“Men under the age of 30 should also consider choosing Cominarty when they get vaccinated,” said Geir Bukholm, head of infection control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Sweden’s data suggests an increase of inflammatory heart diseases (myocarditis and pericarditis) among young people, including young adults, who have been vaccinated. The Public Health Agency of Sweden will pause the shot for people born in 1991 or after.
“The connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose,” stated the health agency.
Meanwhile, the Danish Health Authority noted that the preliminary data from a yet-to-be-published Nordic study suggests a possible increased risk of heart inflammation when vaccinated with Moderna. The study will be sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for further assessment, and final data is expected within a month.
According to Reuters, Moderna shares fell 4.9 per cent, or 16.08 USD, to 316.11 USD in afternoon trading.
“These are typically mild cases, and individuals tend to recover within a short time following standard treatment and rest. The risk of myocarditis is substantially increased for those who contract COVID-19, and vaccination is the best way to protect against this,” said a Moderna spokesperson.
In July, the EMA’s safety committee stated that inflammatory heart conditions might occur following vaccination with Comirnaty or Spikevax, and younger males are at a higher risk. However, the agency approved Comirnaty in May and Spikevax for children over 12 in July.
A University of California study has also shown that teenage boys are six times more likely to develop heart problems from the COVID-19 vaccines than COVID-19 itself.
Yet, regulators in the United States, European Union (EU) and World Health Organization (WHO) continue to claim that mRNA experimental vaccines’ benefits outweigh their risks.
Last week, Canadian health officials said that data shows reported cases of heart inflammation are higher after Moderna’s vaccine than the Pfizer/BioNTech jabs. Although both use mRNA technology, the Pfizer version contains 30 micrograms of vaccine per dose, and the Moderna version contains 100 micrograms.
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