COVID-19: Scandinavian countries suspend use of Moderna vaccine for youngest

Noting the risk of myocardial inflammation and pericardium after the injection of a second dose of the Spikevax vaccine, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland decided to discourage it at least 30 or 18 years.

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The decision was announced almost simultaneously in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen, Wednesday, October 6 in the afternoon, before Helsinki only follows them later in the day. The four Scandinavian countries will temporarily limit the use of Moderna Spikevax vaccine because of the risk of myocardial inflammation and pericardium. Sweden suspends use for children under 30 until the December Er ), while Denmark advises it for children under 18, such as Norway and Finland that also recommend to Men under the age of 30 to choose the comirnaty of Pfizer-Biontech.

The health authorities of these countries take care to underline “the effectiveness” of the Moderna vaccine. The Spikevax thus retains “an important place in the General Vaccination Program of Denmark,” said the National Institute of Serology (SSU) in Copenhagen. Thursday, the Swedish Chief Epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, recalled that “the benefit-risk balance was still large positive” for the Spikevax, as for the comirnaty.

So why such a decision? The health authorities evoke a “precautionary measure”, taken on the basis of a study – unpublished – covering the four Scandinavian neighbors, and which reveals a risk of more marked side effects for the moderna vaccine than for that of the Pfizer-Biontech laboratory. The data was sent to the European Medicines Agency (AEM), for additional analyzes.

Young men more at risk

According to Anders Tegnell, the risk of developing myocarditis or pericarditis remains “very rare”, but it usually appears in the weeks following the injection of the second dose of the vaccine, and it disappears after a month. . The figures harvested in the Nordic countries showed that this risk was “much more significant in some groups, especially among young men” and that the difference between Moderna and Pfizer was “perceptible”, said Swedish epidemiologist.

In Sweden, the drug agency has identified 34 cases of Myocarditis and 11 pericardites after taking the Moderna vaccine (1.8 million doses), against respectively 75 and 44 after the injection of the Pfizer vaccine ( 10.6 million doses). For its part, Norway recorded 131 cases of pericarditis and 52 of myocarditis after vaccination with the Pfizer (6.1 million doses), against 36 and 40 cases with moderna (1.5 million doses) respectively (1.5 million doses).

Denmark, for its part, has not seen more cases of myocarditis, nor differences between the two vaccines, “according to the Institute of Serology. For the Danish epidemiologist Bolenette Soborg, this could be explained by the fact that the country, unlike its neighbors, had already decided to vaccinate the 12 to 17 years that with the Comirnaty vaccine. It is therefore “precaution” that Copenhagen decided to formally advise the moderna vaccine at the age of 18.

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/Media reports.