Finland joins Sweden and Denmark in curbing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine
HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland on Thursday suspended the use of Moderna Follow Favorite COVID-19 vaccine for younger males Due to reports of rare cardiovascular side effects, Sweden and Denmark have joined in limiting its use.
Mika Salminen, director of the Finnish Institute of Health, said Finland would instead give the Pfizer vaccine to men born in 1991 and later. Finland provides screenshots for people aged 12 or over.
“A northern study including Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark found that men under the age of 30 who received Moderna Specifax were more likely to develop myocarditis than the control group,” he said.
Swedish and Danish health officials announced on Wednesday that they would halt use of the Moderna vaccine for all young adults and children, citing the same unpublished study. Read more
Norwegian health officials confirmed Wednesday that they have recommended men under the age of 30 choose the Pfizer vaccine.
The Finnish institute said the Nordic study will be published within two weeks and preliminary data has been sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for further evaluation.
The EMA’s Safety Committee concluded in July that such inflammatory cardiac conditions can occur very rarely after vaccination with Spikevax or Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty jab, more often in younger men after the second dose. Read more
However, regulators in the United States, the European Union and the World Health Organization stressed that the benefits of the shots based on the mRNA technology used by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech in preventing COVID-19 still outweigh the risks.
A spokesperson for Moderna said late Wednesday that it was aware of the decisions of the Swedish and Danish regulators.
“These are usually mild cases and individuals tend to recover within a short time after standard treatment and rest. The risk of developing myocarditis is significantly increased for those who contract COVID-19, and vaccination is the best way to protect against this.”
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters that Italy did not plan to suspend the Moderna vaccine and said European countries should work together more closely to coordinate better.
“We have to trust the international authorities, starting with the EMA which is our reference agency which has made very clear judgments on this matter,” he said.
Additional reporting by Issey Leto in Helsinki and Emilio Parodi in Milan; Editing by Alex Richardson and Alison Williams
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