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Sweden, Denmark suspend Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on younger persons

A child receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Germany. Photo: DW

Sweden and Denmark have announced that they are pausing the use of Moderna’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine for younger age groups after reports of possible rare side effects.

Reuters reports that the Swedish health agency said it would pause using the shot for people born in 1991 and later as data pointed to an increase of myocarditis and pericarditis among youths and young adults that had been vaccinated. Those conditions involve inflammation of the heart or its lining.

“The connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose,” the health agency said, adding the risk of being affected was very small.

Denmark said that, while it used the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine as its main option for people aged 12-17 years, it had decided to pause giving the Moderna vaccine to people below 18 according to a “precautionary principle”.

“In the preliminary data … there is a suspicion of an increased risk of heart inflammation when vaccinated with Moderna,” the Danish Health Authority said in a statement.

It referred to data from a yet unpublished Nordic study, which would now be sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for further assessment.

Sweden and Denmark said they now recommended the Comirnaty vaccine, from Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), instead.