Sweden’s Public Health Agency has today recommended a temporary halt of vaccinating young adults with Moderna Covid-19 vaccine citing concerns over rare side effects to the heart.
The agency said the pause would be in effect till December 1, explaining that it had received evidence of an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the myocardium, muscle of the heart and thepericardium, membrane covering the heart, causing myocarditis and pericarditis respectively.
“The Public Health Agency has decided to pause the use of Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, for everyone born 1991 and after, for cautionary reasons,” the agency said in a statement, adding that those groups should instead receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
In addition, the agency said the risk seemed especially tied to the second dose of the Moderna vaccine and was more prevalent among young men and boys, and in the weeks just following the second jab.
The symptoms usually pass by themselves, but should be evaluated by a doctor, it added.
Some 81,000 people in the age group have already received a first jab in Sweden, but they will not be offered a second, the agency said, adding that “discussions were ongoing about the best solution for this group.”
Earlier in July, The European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorized the emergency use of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for teenagers.