News Article

Sweden, Denmark Suspend Moderna Shots Among Younger Groups

By Antonio Gozain | Wed, 10/06/2021 - 18:37

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, approved by COFEPRIS for emergency use in Mexico back on Aug. 18, 2021, was suspended for people under 30 in Sweden and Denmark following rare cardiovascular side effects, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, reported Reuters.

“The connection (between the jab and the cardiovascular side effects) is especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose,” said the Public Health Agency of Sweden, although it added that the risk was very low.

While myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger, according to the US CDC, which reports cases of this sort after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots), “especially in male adolescents and young adults, more often after the second dose,” and usually “within several days after vaccination.”

Moderna said in an email that the company was aware of the decision to pause the use of its vaccine in younger individuals. “These are typically mild cases and individuals tend to recover within a short time following standard treatment and rest. The risk of myocarditis is substantially increased for those who contract COVID-19 and vaccination is the best way to protect against this.” In afternoon trading, shares of Moderna fell 4.9 percent (US$16.08) to US$316.11.

Denmark said that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will remain its main option for people between 12 and 17 years of age. A yet unpublished study, which has been sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for further assessment, revealed “the suspicion of an increased risk of heart inflammation when vaccinated with Moderna,” said in a statement the Danish Health Authority.

Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines in Mexico

Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots are two of the nine vaccines authorized by COFEPRIS for emergency use in Mexico. Spikevax’s approval came after the US government confirmed the donation of 3.5 million doses to Mexico, sufficient to vaccinate 1.75 million people. Moderna vaccines were used in the State of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon among 18 to 29-year-olds, although no reports of heart inflammation were presented.

In the case of Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine, Mexico used it for all kinds of age groups, including 18 to 29-year-olds. The original contract between Mexico and Pfizer/BioNTech was signed for 34.4 million doses, sufficient to vaccinate 17.2 million people. So far, the country has received over 33 million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech. The Mexican government has not announced any further deal with these laboratories.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, Reuters, El Financiero, CDC
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst