Stockholm (AFP)

Sweden suspended Moderna's anti-Covid vaccine for those under 30 on Wednesday "as a precaution" because of a risk of heart inflammation in young people, the probability of which remains "minimal".

Denmark and Norway have also clarified the use of the Spikevax vaccine, the name of Moderna's vaccine, now formally not recommended for children under 18.

The Swedish public health agency (FHM), in charge of the vaccination campaign, "has decided to put a stop to the use of Moderna's Spikevax vaccine for all those born in 1991 and after, as a precautionary principle", a- she said in a press release.

This decision is taken "after signs of increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the myocardium and pericardium," said the Swedish authority.

According to the agency, the risk is greater after the second dose and in males.

"But the risk of being affected is minimal, it is a very rare side effect," she emphasizes.

"Myocarditis and pericarditis often go away on their own, without causing lasting problems, but symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor," the agency continues.

In Sweden, around 81,000 people under the age of 30 received a first dose of Moderna, and not the second.

In neighboring Denmark, the vaccine program for 12-17 year olds already offered only Pfizer / BioNTech's Comirnaty due to more data for adolescents on this vaccine, a practice which will now be formalized.

"On the basis of the precautionary principle, in the future we will invite children and adolescents to receive this vaccine exclusively," said health authority official Bolette Søborg in a statement.

In Norway, the Institute of Public Health repeated its recommendation to vaccinate those under 18 only with Comirnaty, because of stronger side effects with Moderna, and also invited men under 18. 30 years to choose this vaccine.

"Those who will be vaccinated in the future will in any case be able to choose the type of vaccine they want in the first and second injection," said an official of the institute, Geir Bukholm, in the statement.

"It is important to specify that Spikevax is a vaccine at least as effective against Covid-19 as Comirnaty, and the two vaccines remain recommended for over 30s," he added.

The European Medicines Agency in July extended its authorization of the Moderna vaccine to 12-17 year olds.

© 2021 AFP