RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Swedish Public Health Agency has decided to suspend Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for anyone under 30 for precautionary reasons, citing the increased risk of heart inflammation after inoculation.
On Wednesday, October 6, the agency issued a statement announcing that it will stop the distribution of the Moderna injection, marketed as Spikevax, to people under the age of 30. Instead, the Comirnaty vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech will be offered to this age group.
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In announcing the suspension, the agency said data pointed to an “increased incidence” of inflammatory heart disease, myocarditis, and pericarditis, primarily in younger men and adolescents, “in association with Covid-19 vaccination.”
The advisory said that “a new preliminary analysis of Swedish and Nordic data sources indicates that the connection is obvious when it comes to Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine, especially after the second dose.”
Swedes under the age of 30 who have already received their first dose of the Moderna injection, about 81,000 people, will now not receive the second injection of that vaccine according to the usual administration regimen. The health agency said it was looking for the best alternative to offer this group.
Although Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, said those who have recently been vaccinated, either with their first or second jab, should not worry because, he said, the risk is minimal. However, he added that Swedes should be on the lookout for symptoms of the two inflammatory conditions.
Nordic neighbor Denmark also halted the use of Spikevax on Wednesday, though only for those under 18, citing similar concerns of side effects such as myocarditis.
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