Finland has indefinitely paused the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in younger males, Reuters reported on Thursday. This move follows reports of a rare cardiovascular side effect caused by the vaccine.
Going forward, men born in 1991 and after will be given the Pfizer vaccine in Finland. "A Nordic study involving Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark found that men under the age of 30 who received Moderna Spikevax had a slightly higher risk than others of developing myocarditis," Mika Salminen, director of the Finnish health institute, said.
The study, which has been sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for further assessment, will be published in a few weeks, the Finnish health institute said to Reuters. The study raised concerns over the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in young people. In July, the EMA’s safety committee noted that inflammatory heart conditions could occur in very rare cases following the COVID-19 vaccine, more often in younger men, after the second dose.
As Leah reported, Sweden and Denmark paused the use of the Moderna vaccine in younger age groups this week. As she covered, an unpublished study reported that an increased risk of heart muscle inflammation was present for individuals born in 1991 and after who’ve gotten the vaccine. The Swedish health agency said the condition was more prevalent in men.
Though the risk is minimal, "the connection is especially clear when it comes to Moderna's vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose," the Swedish health agency said in a statement to Reuters.
While the EMA approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in minors in May and the Moderna vaccine in July, minors in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark are encouraged to get the Pfizer vaccine going forward.