Last week, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland suspended the use of the Moderna vaccine for younger people due to a risk of side effects, including myocarditis.
The FDA has responded by insisting benefits of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks.
Sweden reports it is suspending the vaccine for people under age 30 (“for precautionary reasons”). Denmark has suspended vaccines for those under 18. Finland health officials have stated that males under age 30 should not be vaccinated.
Japan has shelved 1.6 million doses of the Moderna vaccine due to contamination concerns, and Iceland’s Health Officials state they are suspending the use of the vaccine for all age groups as of Oct. 10 “due to the risk of cardiac inflammation.” The health agency’s website noted that the Pfizer vaccine is still approved for use.
Reports of serious clotting problems and questions about the vaccine’s efficacy prompted Nordic countries to make changes in their vaccine guidelines.
A statement from Moderna notes that the company is “aware of the very rare occurrence of myocarditis and/or pericarditis following administration of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.”
The company statement continued: “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.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Biden Administration strongly promote the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine is currently administered under emergency use authorization. Moderna’s application for full approval is still pending.
The agency acknowledged there is “an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or heart sac,” but noted that the risk is “very small.”
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