Sweden halts use of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine among under-30s

Published October 7, 2021, 6:57 AM

by Xinhua

STOCKHOLM — Sweden has stopped the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax in individuals born after 1990, due to a suspected connection to side effects.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Swedish Public Health Agency referred to a preliminary analysis of data from Sweden and other Nordic countries that indicates the vaccine may be associated with an increased risk of heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis), and inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart (pericarditis). These conditions were especially prevalent among males after the second dose.

“We monitor the situation closely and act quickly to ensure that vaccinations against COVID-19 are always as safe as possible, and at the same time provide effective protection,” said state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.

Sweden’s decision affects 81,000 individuals, but Tegnell said those who had already received Spikevax had no reason to panic.

“Anyone who has been vaccinated recently, with their first or second dose of Moderna’s vaccine, does not have to worry as the risk is very small, but it is good to know which symptoms you need to be vigilant about.” Among the symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis are fatigue and shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat and palpitations, a feeling of pressure or weight over the chest, pain when breathing deeply, and chest pain.

The Public Health Agency also recommended that individuals born after 1990 should receive the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech until new guidelines are presented.

According to statistics released by the authority, 84 percent of all Swedish individuals aged 16 or over had received at least one dose of a vaccine by Tuesday, while 77.8 percent had received two doses.