Nordic countries are restricting the use of Moderna’s Covid vaccine. Here’s why

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  • The three countries decided to limit the use of Moderna Vaccine Centers around concerns that it could be linked to cases of myocarditis, a condition where the heart muscle becomes inflamed.
  • All three health officials cited an unpublished Nordic study that was sent to the European Medicines Agency for evaluation, according to Reuters.

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Finland, Denmark and Sweden are limiting the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to youth over concerns about rare cardiovascular side effects.

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Finland’s national health authority, THL, announced on Thursday that it would stop the use of Moderna’s COVID vaccine in youth. THL said all men 30 or younger would be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine instead.

THL’s decision follows announcements from its Swedish and Danish counterparts on Wednesday that both would restrict the use of Moderna Vaccine to similar demographics.

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In Sweden, the use of the vaccine will be stopped in people born in 1991 or later, while Denmark is banning the use of the modern shot in all people under the age of 18.

What’s the issue?

The three countries decided to limit the use of Moderna Vaccine Centers around concerns that it could be linked to cases of myocarditis, a condition where the heart muscle becomes inflamed. All three health officials cited an unpublished Nordic study that was sent to the European Medicines Agency for evaluation, according to Reuters.

In most cases, people with myocarditis recover without complications, but in some rarer and more severe cases, damage to the heart can occur.

Young men and boys were most likely to develop myocarditis after receiving a second dose of Moderna Vaccine, according to Finland’s THL.

Speaking at a coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, Mika Salminen, THL’s director of health protection, said the potential risks posed by Moderna Vaccine appear to be greater for young male individuals.

“THL’s directive is that at present, men and boys under the age of 30 should not be given the Moderna vaccine, but instead should use the Pfizer vaccine,” he said. local media reports.

Finland offers the COVID-19 vaccination to everyone over the age of 12. Of the population eligible for vaccination in Finland, 84% have received their first dose and 72% have received two doses.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s health body said data suggested instances of myocarditis and pericarditis – inflammation of the outer layer of the heart – were higher in immunized young people, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

A Moderna spokesperson was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. The company told Reuters that these are “generally mild cases and individuals recover within a short period of time after standard treatment and rest.”

“The risk of myocarditis is significantly increased for those contracting COVID-19, and vaccination is the best way to prevent this,” the spokesperson said.

profit vs risk

Despite the risks associated with vaccination for young men, THL’s Salminen said Thursday it was still important for everyone who was eligible to receive two doses of a vaccine.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the known risks of COVID-19 and its potentially serious complications far outweigh the potential risks of having a rare adverse reaction to vaccination. This includes a potential risk of developing myocarditis.

in August, US study found That men aged 12 to 17 – the demographic most likely to develop myocarditis – were six times more likely to have heart inflammation from being infected with COVID-19 than from being vaccinated against the virus.

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After a second dose of a vaccine, there were 67 cases of myocarditis per million men in that age group. The study found that after contracting the coronavirus, the rate of myocarditis in that age group dropped to 450 cases per million.

During this, Research In March, it was found from Imperial College London that half of the patients hospitalized in severe cases of Kovid had heart failure.

According to the US CDC, most cases of post-vaccination myocarditis occur in male adolescents and young adults following a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccine. Symptoms — which include chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath and heart palpitations — usually occur within days of vaccination.

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